The Source of Our Sources

Not today’s news, but The New York Times and other major newspapers have a great influence on public policy. Key government documents, like budgets and congressional hearings, mention “the new york times” about 38,000 times (see Government Printing Office website with Google Search), while an economist from the top 10—who studies his topic for decades but doesn’t write for the public regularly—gets mentioned in the same documents just 10 times. So, even if economists know something (like a big secret about inflation), it’s up to the media to deliver this knowledge.

Where do the media source their information from, in turn? The Times explains:

Source
Mentions in NY Times articles, Source

If someone doesn’t see the black line for the references to researchers, it’s because the line had been drawn over the zero axis.

(That was a post of envy, of course.)