Over at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth: Perhaps the Single Most Puzzling Thing Published Over the Weekend: The Peculiar Blindness of Nick Kristof: Monday Focus: February 17, 2014: I think: The New York Times claims a Sunday print circulation of 1 million. The Sunday New York Times costs $4. If Kristof gets 1/2000 of the time spent on the Sunday New York Times--three seconds, if the average copy is read for 2 hours--1000 hours are spent reading Nick Kristof's column, and if the average wage of a reader is $100,000/year, an additional 40 hours are spent earning the money to buy the right to read Nick Kristof’s column in print.
And I think: That level of engagement (and revenue!) on the part of readers would, one would think, lead to a substantial infrastructure supporting marquee columnists to make sure that their columns were the best columns possible. I mean: readers are spending a substantial fraction of a year of income plus attention on this, and if the New York Times spends 10% as much in resources on it as its readers, that would be 104 reporter and editorial person-hours backing up each 750-word column.
And so, one would think, in the twenty-first century, that Nick Kristof would, as he wrote his column, know what his own newspaper announced just two days ago:
Meg Sullivan: Vavreck to help fill void in New York Times left by popular blogger Nate Silver: “UCLA political scientist Lynn Vavreck is joining a team of reporters, analysts and other contributors who will be posting to a new website on politics and policy in The New York Times that will launch in the spring with a focus on demystifying politics, economics, health care and other issues with data. Read More