Nick Kristoff. The New York Times columnist has an incredible perch of influence, a job most journalists would do almost anything to get. Yet every time he writes a column about Darfur or Chad or Congo he puts his power at risk. The main way to get ditched as a columnist is to be boring or lack readers’ the toughest way to be interesting and well-read is to write incessantly about African poverty.
Yet he does. Again and again. And each time, he does his best to keep readers from glazing over — this time by tricking us into thinking we’d get George Clooney gossip — each time he succeeds, and each time you come deeply connected to a horrifying situation and newly committed to doing something about it.
I don’t know Kristoff but I’m betting he has an acute sense of gratitude. Through his own hard work, he earned this incredible responsibility and he believes he therefore has a duty to use it well.