I think David Brooks is a wise man and, frankly, he’s one of the main reasons I keep subscribing to The New York Times. However, I would like to offer a suggestion to Mr. Brooks and all other editorial writers: please tell us your sources! It’s not enough to tell readers what organization gave you a fact. Time efficient sourcing demands a link. David wrote recently the following:
Ultimately, we should blame the American voters. The average Medicare couple pays $109,000 into the program and gets $343,000 in benefits out, according to the Urban Institute. This is $234,000 in free money. Many voters have decided they like spending a lot on themselves and pushing costs onto their children and grandchildren.
It’s a very interesting fact and I’m sure he’s spot on, but he really should be sharing the precise study, with a hyperlink, so that data-driven readers can better understand and learn. Readers today are VERY time-constrained, but they are also savvy and hungry to learn. Without a link, authors are forcing readers to trust without verifying…and without the benefit of deeper learning.