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Monday, October 2, 2017

To Mr. Nichlas Kristof, The Nye York Times Op-Ed Columnist

To Mr. Nicholas Kristof,
The New York Times Op-Ed Columnist

My response to his letter (see below)

Hi Nicholas,
I know, I know, NYT gets thousands of letters every day,
but this one may make the difference for the paper.
Do you know what people miss the most and want the most?
To be heard - not to be informed.
Especially today.
But your opinion list is too narrow, to elective, too selective.
Give the voice to simple people, and they will thank you for that.
Introduce a new page - voices from the crowd, but limit the post by say 560 characters, plus the title no longer than 30.
Make it topical: Monday posts - climate change, etc. 
Good luck,

Hi Valentin,
Look, I’m not a marketer. I’m a Times columnist, and my passion is shining a light on neglected stories. As when I sneaked into the Nuba Mountains of Sudan to report on atrocities unfolding there (Which, because of the media attention, may be ending. Please keep your fingers crossed.) 

That passion for reporting is why I’m writing this. Usually, letters encouraging people to subscribe come from the business side of the paper, but those of us who are Times journalists also have a huge stake in whether you respond to, or trash, this email. As you realize, the business model of journalism is struggling in the internet age. So when I hear from readers how much they depend on The Times, I tell them: “We depend on you, too.” 

As journalists, we count on you to underwrite investigations of corruption, of foreign influence in U.S. elections, of breakthroughs in science and health. I’m proud of the uncovering of Trump campaign meetings with Russian representatives; the path breaking reporting about the founder of Uber, leading to his departure; the heroic reporting and photography from Afghanistan on America’s longest war. I have colleagues who believed so much in this reporting mission that they died for it.

I know, I know. You’re busy. And there’s a torrent of news out there already. But serious journalism — that’s what’s special about The Times. Some years ago, while trying to report on a massacre in Darfur, I was detained at a checkpoint by the forces committing genocide there. They kept me in a shack with a gruesome mural showing a man being impaled. Yet it also became increasingly clear that they didn’t want to mess with The New York Times. The commander showed up and released me and, since my car was now stuck in the sand, made my former guards push my vehicle out. They released me because they knew I was just the vanguard of a vast force of stand-up readers around the world.

One more thing I want to be up-front about: This is an extraordinary time right now in the United States. I’ve been a journalist at The Times for 33 years, and I’ve never seen a period when journalism was more important for our country. We sometimes fall short — and I hope you’ll tell us when we screw up — but it’s never been more crucial that we play the role of a serious watchdog. Please consider subscribing, and then hold us accountable, just as we try to hold officials and business leaders accountable.

We’ll have your back, if you’ll have ours. And that’s why it’s me writing this letter, because these times demand a partnership with dedicated readers. I’d like to invite you to be our partner, by subscribing here or by supporting student subscriptions here. Also, please share this message with family and friends.

Thanks for considering The Times.                                                   

Nicholas Kristof

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