I just subscribed to the New York Times. Just now. My actions were entirely prompted by this article and video by C.J. "Chris" Chivers and the accompanying photographs by Bryan Denton. In the interests of full disclosure, both Chris and Bryan are friends of mine, but I had never before been moved to shell out my own money for the right to enjoy their journalism. I was today, overwhelmed with appreciation for the quality of the work these men have done over the past week.
I grew up working at my family newspaper in Tennessee and have made a lot of friends through my work over the past decade who are paid to report on both the greater Middle East and the world's conflicts. I have a real appreciation and some small understanding for what these men and women do, but I also know that the logistics and costs associated with sending men like Chris and Bryan to Syria are considerable. Last month, in fact, the New York Times Co. posted an $88 million second-quarter loss.
I am not inclined to treat for-profit companies like charity cases, and the New York Times Co. has made a lot of poor business decisions that have nothing to do with the work its journalists produce. I also realize that I am now helping to pay the salaries of some reporters and columnists who shall remain nameless but whose work I respect less than that of Chris and Bryan. (Or any of the many other men and women on the staff of the Times whose work I admire.)
But if I have to underwrite some columnist's misguided thought experiment to help pay for Bryan's life insurance or the college tuition for Chris's kids, I'm okay with that. If you are too, click here.