Signing off

January 29, 2014

For the past two and a half years, I’ve had the privilege of writing a weekly opinion column for Reuters. Some of those columns made me proud. Others I wish I could do over.

As of today, I am changing jobs and becoming an investigative reporter at Reuters. I will also write regular analysis columns, but they will be edited by the Reuters news desk and not contain opinion.

Measuring public concern by page views is a dubious enterprise. But the interest generated by some of my columns suggested that two main issues interested readers.

First, income inequality.

One of the pieces that drew the most traffic described how Hurricane Sandy exposed New York’s growing inequality. A piece praising a family-owned supermarket chain — Wegmans — that delivers outstanding service, generous wages to employees and a healthy profit was highly popular as well.

Militancy — and the U.S. response to it — also interested readers. A piece describing the dread American Muslims felt as news broke that two Chechen immigrants were suspected in the Boston marathon bombing was enormously popular. So were pieces criticizing the Obama administration’s excessive use of drone strikes, secrecy and online surveillance.

I tried to focus on consistent themes. One was the need for the United States to engage diplomatically and economically — not militarily — in the Middle East, back local moderates in the region and avoid the trap of an endless war on terror.

Another was the impact of rising income inequality in the United States and the hope signified by the emergence of a global middle class. Most alarming, to me, is the destructive effects of the United States’ deepening partisanship — from a broken government to a broken news media to an inability to agree on basic facts.

Our raging partisanship, in part, is what has prompted me to change jobs. Today, Americans need more fact — not more opinion. In our current political climate, I believe I can make a larger contribution as a reporter than as a columnist.

These two and a half years have been a privilege. Thank you for reading my columns. In an online media universe of exponentially increasing choices, I am honored that you chose to listen to me.


PHOTO: New York City donations vouchers sit on a table at the Oasis Christian Center in the Midland Beach area of Staten Island, New York, November 14, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid



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Good for you, Mr. Rhodes! Yes, Americans rely on the press to investigate and report the truth and both have been sadly lacking, with some great exceptions, for the past 40+ years. Looking forward to your reports.

Posted by njglea | Report as abusive

My apologies for misspelling your name in my previous post, Mr. Rohde.

Posted by njglea | Report as abusive

Will Reuters actually let you tell the facts if those facts could potentially upset investers futher up the corporate chain? I doubt it. I see many stories by reuters that could have easily come from Fox or CNN since they contain the same corporately sanitized version of reality.

Posted by brotherkenny4 | Report as abusive

Best wishes to you, David Rohde.

Reach the masses! Provide raw facts, omit the opinions of others and attempt to keep it simple! Conclude the theme with provoking unanswered questions.

IMHO, this nation is starving for FACTS. Seeking them is a full time job.

Posted by SaveRMiddle | Report as abusive

We will still be reading you and your facts. Best Wishes. Love.

Posted by 2Borknot2B | Report as abusive

What’s 50 + 67 equal? I believe it’s 117 Right? So then the year 1967 plus 50 years would equal the year 2017 right?

And the year is now 2014 so in 3 more years the American Freedom of Information Act allows the world to view the first Photographs that must be made public of the USS Liberty Massacre where Israel ordered its Army, Navy, and Air Force to destroy our American war vessel by bombs, Torpedoes, Strafing, and Shooting the American Officers and Enlisted Men in International Sea Waters that immediately killed 37, and wounded 170 that have died and been dying from their wounds in the 1967 Israeli 3 Day War.

No Enteral Flame has ever been erected in Arlington National Cemetery for these brave dead American Soldiers, no mention of their sacrifices in any American High School History Books, no President, Senator, or Representative has shown any public display of gratitude for their courage in this conflict, all those who were there and died have been all but forgotten but in 3 years the world will come to know the truth.

President Johnson was suspected of the JFK assasination by conspiracy theorists and the conspiracy to keep quite the USS Liberty Massacre for the last 50 years came on President Johnson’s shift so is there a link between the two conspiracies with the same man involved?

Posted by 1justmyopinion | Report as abusive