So first of all, let’s talk frankly about the job I have. The New York Times isn’t just some newspaper somewhere, it’s the nation’s paper of record. As a result, being an op-ed columnist at the Times is a pretty big deal — one I’m immensely grateful to have been granted — and those who hold the position, if they know how to use it effectively, have a lot more influence on national debate than, say, most senators. Does anyone doubt that the White House pays attention to what I write?
By my reckoning, then, an administration job, no matter how senior, would actually reduce my influence, leaving me unable to say publicly what I really think and all too probably finding myself unable to make headway in internal debates.
I posted something on Twitter the other day that got a bunch of attention, and I realized I wanted to clarify what I meant. Here’s what I wrote:
“Silicon Valley’s problem in a nutshell: crazed about Instagram’s ToS, not a peep about FISA reauthorization.”
I meant to capture something…
But instead of chasing down every tidbit of tech news, he built The Wirecutter, a recommendation site that posts six to 12 updates a month — not a day — and began publishing in partnership with The Awl, a federation of blogs founded by two other veterans of Gawker Media, Choire Sicha and Alex Balk. While there are many technology sites that evaluate and compare products, usually burying their assessments in a tsunami of other posts, Mr. Lam and his staff of freelancers decided to rely on deep examinations of specific product categories. Using expert opinions, aggregated reviews and personal research, they recommend a single product in each category. There are no complicated rankings or deep analytics on the entire category. If you want new earphones or a robot vacuum, The Wirecutter will recommend The One and leave it at that.
“I have realized about myself that I’m very motivated by people counting on me,” he says. “I like to be counted on. I like to have a bunch of customers who count on us. I like being part of a team. We’re all counting on each other. I like the fact that shareholders are counting on us. And so I find that very motivating.”
Our Fellowship in Global Journalism deliberately recruits subject-matter experts — academics and professionals — and teaches them to break news in their own disciplines for media around the world.
|—||Prison Rape: Obama’s Program to Stop It by David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow | The New York Review of Books|