"It’s become a tradition that, the day after the Youth Media awards are announced at ALA’s midwinter meeting, the Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners, along with an ALA representative, are interviewed live on the Today Show, at NBC’s studios in New York City. But this past Tuesday, those hoping to catch the first nationally televised interviews with Clare Vanderpool and Erin Stead were disappointed. For the first time in 11 years, there was no special coverage featuring the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists.
With the national television news outlets providing wall-to-wall media coverage since Saturday of the tragedy in Tucson, it’s not surprising that two children’s book award winners would be overlooked during a week of breaking news. But, to some who tuned into the Today Show on Tuesday morning expecting to see the Newbery and Caldecott Medalists, insult seemed added to injury. The program did indeed take a break from its coverage of the shootings during the second hour to interview an author. But it was an author who's not likely to win a prestigious literary award any time soon: Nicole Polizzi, better known to the world as Snooki, the Jersey Shore star more famous for her trash talk and wild partying rather than her literary chops."
Continue reading the article here.
My reaction to the whole thing?
It's okay. Really, it's okay. The Caldecott and Newbery books don't need the Today Show. The Caldecott and Newbery books are the best children's books in America (the canon of American children's literature). These awards have been around years longer than the Today Show, and they will still be around years after the Today Show is canceled. (The Caldecott award was first given in 1938. The Newbery award was first given in 1922. The Today Show first aired in 1952.) Generations from now, people will still be buying, borrowing, reading, studying, and discussing Caldecott and Newbery books. Will they still be watching the Today Show?