Calling All “Enlightened Philanthropists…”

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).

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.