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The Fog of War

Posted by Shannon

The coverage of Key Porter closing shop without notifying its writers is just as telling about the sorry state of journalism as it is about publishing.

On January 5, when Ottawa historian Mark Bourrie learned that his book on press censorship, The Fog of War, was not being published on January 25, he told his tale of woe to his 1100+ contacts on Facebook. While he’s now Dr. Bourrie, possessor of a shiny new PhD, he used to be just another ink-stained wretch and his FB page is lousy with professional gossips. He blogged the tale, including the eye-popping email from publisher Jordan Fenn explaining how they accidentally forgot to notify the author that his book was “on hold.”

I’m assuming the hacks were all a-chatter because the next day the story showed up on the Quill and Quire blog and as a genuine news story at the Toronto Star – a reporter actually picked up a tip and went out and gathered facts. It was just so retro. And reassuring. - Read more

Posted by Shannon

The incompetence of book publishers is legendary but Key Porter hit a new low this week. They forgot to tell an Ottawa author that they had cancelled publication of his book, despite it still being in the website catalogue.

Mark Bourrie learned that the January 25 publication of his book The Fog of War was  “on hold” on January 5, after contacting the PR department to firm up details for a launch party.

Vice President Jordan Fenn’s email is one of those masterpieces of understatement.  - Read more