On today’s New York Times op-ed page, David Swensen and Michael Schmidt (an investment officer and a financial analyst, respectively, at Yale) call on “enlightened philanthropists” to endow “our most valued news sources” — and, fast— “or watch a vital component of American democracy fade into irrelevance.” Then they lay out, presumably for interested parties, what it might take to endow, just for instance, the Times:
How large an endowment would a newspaper need? The news-gathering operations at The New York Times cost a little more than $200 million a year. Assuming some additional outlay for overhead, it would require an endowment of approximately $5 billion (assuming a 5 percent annual payout rate).Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.