It’s deadline day for buyouts at The Times!
And joining Pulitzer winner Linda Greenhouse on the payout line, is Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston, who has submitted an application to volunteer for a buyout (Media Mob needs to qualify because technically the paper has the final say and will be reviewing applications for the next 45 days).
“I want to do books full time,” Mr. Johnston told Media Mob. “With a buyout, I can do them twice as fast. I want to do long-form magazine work, too! And I have documentarians talking to me about TV and theatrical releases.”
Mr. Johnston, 59, has been working at The Times for the past 13 years. Like Ms. Greenhouse, the paper’s Supreme Court reporter who’s about to get a $300,000 buyout, Mr. Johnston isn’t the sort of newspaper reporter who works sources over drinks. He works from his home in Rochester, and goes through volumes and volumes of tax documents, plumbing stats and figures to find material for big investigative pieces.
“My job is about reading the paperwork and not listening to the politicians,” he said. “Instead, I find people—human beings—to illustrate the problem.”
Mr. Johnston said his favorite story was uncovering inequities in the tax system—how the I.R.S. is more likely to audit the poor than the rich—which earned him a Pulitzer in 2001.
He wouldn’t reveal how much his payday would be, but said it would be good for one year’s salary.
“Working at The New York Times has been the greatest honor of my life,” he said.
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