Frequent readers know that I’m a fan of Ezra Klein and his Wonkblog at the Washington Post. It offers thoughtful and well-written analysis on complicated policy issues like health care, economics, and the environment and it has become a formidable driver of traffic to the Post‘s website. But it seems that Klein may have become a bit too high-profile for the paper’s liking. At least, that’s one way to interpret the news that Klein and some of his Wonkblog colleagues are leaving the Post to start their own wonky news venture.
Klein is just the latest high-profile New Media personality to depart a traditional news outlet in favor of opportunities that offer more creative control and, possibly, richer rewards. Political blogger Nate Silver will soon be re-launching his 538 site as part of the ESPN empire. Blogger Andrew Sullivan just took his website independent, supported only by reader subscriptions. These moves are a loss for the news conglomerates that fostered their talent, but these new efforts by Klein and Silver will be a boon to us policy and stats nerds who can’t start our days without reading two thousand words on the latest federal budget compromise. I’m excited to follow Klein’s new venture and I’ll continue to visit Wonkblog for Sarah Kliff’s invaluable health policy reporting.