Joe Nocera

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Joseph "Joe" Nocera (born May 6, 1952 in Providence, Rhode Island)[1] is an American business journalist and author. He writes about sports at The New York Times where he previously wrote about business and was a columnist for the newspaper's Op-Ed page.[2][3] Nocera is also a business commentator for NPR’s Weekend Edition.[4]


Nocera earned a B.S. in journalism from Boston University in 1974. In the late 1970s he was an editor at The Washington Monthly. In the 1980s, he was an editor at Newsweek; an executive editor of New England Monthly; and a senior editor at Texas Monthly.

Nocera was the "Profit Motive" columnist at Esquire from 1988 to 1990 and wrote the same column for GQ from 1990 to 1995. He worked at Fortune from 1995 to 2005, in a variety of positions, finally as editorial director.

He became a business columnist for The New York Times in April 2005. In March 2011, Nocera became a regular opinion columnist for The Times's Op-Ed page, writing on Tuesdays and Saturdays.[3] He is also a business commentator for NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon.[4]

In November 2015, Nocera's began writing in the sports page of The Times.[2] Executives at The Times cited Nocera's interest in sports, specifically injuries to student athletes and business issues in college athletics, as the reason for reassignment to the sports page from the Op-Ed page.[2] In his last column on the Op-Ed page of The Times, Nocera offered his views on several issues unrelated to sports including gun control, education in the United States, e-cigarettes, and election day in the United States.[5]

He lives in New York City.

Interest areas[edit]

Nocera's columns in the New York Times offer perspectives on a wide array of current events.[6] He writes series of columns on specific issues, and often focuses on specific areas of interest to him.

Criticism of the National Collegiate Athletic Association[edit]

Since 2011, Nocera has written over 10 columns on the role played by the NCAA in the United States with a view that the NCAA "unfairly exploits college football and men's basketball players" through a "double standard".[6][7][8] To support this view, he cites the negative effects NCAA policies may have on student athletes, which include unfair suspensions and financial inducements given to universities that lead to potential conflicts of interest.[9][10]

Nocera has criticized specific actions and policies, pertaining to intercollegiate athletics, of many universities, including Rutgers University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Alabama, Baylor University, and University of Notre Dame.[11][12][13][14][15] He has also extensively criticized the NCAA and Penn State University for their handling of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]

Support for fracking and Keystone XL[edit]

Nocera advocates fracking, which is viewed as an economical method for natural gas extraction.[23] Fracking, however, faces widespread debate for its environmental impact. Its critics argue that, by augmenting fossil fuel supply, fracking contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Nocera believes that these concerns are overstated because fossil fuel consumption is driven primarily by demand.[24] Other environmental concerns cited include flowback of contaminated water into potable water sources, induced seismic activity, and potential water scarcity due to the high level of water consumption required for fracking. Nocera argues that, because fracking has been widely adopted, "the responsible approach is not to wish it away, but to exploit its benefits while straightforwardly addressing its problems".[25]

Nocera also supports the construction of Keystone XL, which would encourage the extraction of fossil fuels from oil sands and shale gas deposits in Canada. For reasons similar to those for fracking, the proposed pipeline has been subject of political debate since the pipeline extension was proposed in 2008.[26][27] He has been a "longtime supporter of the pipeline" as it would, in his view, help the United States achieve "energy independence" by augmenting energy produced in North America.[28]


In an August 2011 column on the US debt ceiling crisis, Nocera compared "Tea Party Republicans" with terrorists, and wrote that they "have waged jihad on the American people" and suggested that they "can put aside their suicide vests".[29] These choice of words were criticized by a number of media outlets, including Jonah Goldberg of the National Review, Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post, and Jason Suderman of Reason magazine, along with then White House press secretary Jay Carney.[30][31][32][33] In a follow-up column, Nocera writes "[what] most surprised me is how darned liberal I sound sometimes." He then apologized:

The words I chose were intemperate and offensive to many, and I've been roundly criticized. I was a hypocrite, the critics said, for using such language when on other occasions I've called for a more civil politics. In the cool light of day, I agree with them. I apologize.

After comparing Congressional negotiations with "hand-to-hand combat", Nocera concluded the column with "I won't be calling anybody names. That I can promise."[34]


Nocera's book A Piece of the Action: How the Middle Class Joined the Money Class won the New York Public Library's Helen Bernstein Award for best non-fiction book of 1995. His contributions to journalism have been recognized with three Gerald Loeb Awards in 1993, 1996, and 2008, respectively, along with three John Hancock Awards for Excellence in Business Writing in 1983, 1984, and 1991, respectively.[1] In 2007, he was named a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary finalist.[35]


Nocera's Op-Ed columns at the New York Times are available at Nocera - Op-Ed Columns.


  1. ^ a b "Columnist Biography: Joe Nocera". New York Times. September 16, 2005. Retrieved 2011-05-21. 
  2. ^ a b c Mullin, Benjamin (2015-11-02). "NYT business columnist Joe Nocera joins the sports department | Poynter.". Poynter. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  3. ^ a b Jeremy W. Peters (March 1, 2011). "Frank Rich to Leave The Times for New York Magazine". The New York Times Media Decoder (The New York Times Company). Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "People - Joe Nocera". Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  5. ^ Nocera, Joe (2015-11-03). "And That’s My Opinion!". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Joe Nocera - Op-Ed Columnist". New York Times. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ Joe Nocera (October 2, 2015). "O'Bannon's Hollow Victory Over the NCAA". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ Joe Nocera (April 8, 2011). "N.C.A.A.'s Double Standard". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  9. ^ Joe Nocera (January 23, 2013). "Living in Fear of the N.C.A.A.". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  10. ^ Joe Nocera (January 12, 2015). "Playing College Moneyball". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  11. ^ Joe Nocera (April 6, 2013). "Why Rutgers Blinked". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  12. ^ Joe Nocera (May 6, 2014). "She Had to Tell What She Knew". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  13. ^ Joe Nocera (June 9, 2015). "Alabama Football Follies". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  14. ^ Joe Nocera (September 1, 2015). "Baylor, Football and the Rape Case of Sam Ukwuachu". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  15. ^ Joe Nocera (September 12, 2015). "Notre Dame's Big Bluff". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  16. ^ Joe Nocera (November 15, 2011). "Penn State's Long Road Back". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ Joe Nocera (November 17, 2011). "Was Paterno Trying to Keep His Job?". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  18. ^ Joe Nocera (December 3, 2011). "It's Not Just Penn State". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  19. ^ Joe Nocera (July 17, 2012). "A Just Penalty for Penn State". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  20. ^ Joe Nocera (July 24, 2012). "Penn State is Hit Hard - Is It Enough?". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  21. ^ Joe Nocera (October 20, 2012). "Why Syracuse Isn't Penn State". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  22. ^ Joe Nocera (December 2, 2014). "The NCAA's Bluff". New York Times. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  23. ^ Joe Nocera (October 4, 2013). "A Fracking Rorschach Test.html". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  24. ^ Joe Nocera (July 14, 2015). "Shale Gas and Climate Change". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  25. ^ Joe Nocera (October 4, 2013). "A Fracking Rorschach Test.html". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  26. ^ Joe Nocera (February 6, 2012). "Poisoned Politics of Keystone XL". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  27. ^ Joe Nocera (February 10, 2012). "The Politics of Keystone, Take 2". New York Times. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  28. ^ Jim Barrett (April 28, 2013). "Joe Nocera Still Loves Keystone XL, Is Still Confused About The Basic Economics Of Oil Markets". Think Progress. Retrieved October 5, 2015. 
  29. ^ Joe Nocera (2011-08-01). "Tea Party’s War on America". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  30. ^ Allahpundit (2011-08-02). "Jay Carney: No, it’s not appropriate to compare Republicans to terrorists". 
  31. ^ Jonah Goldberg (2011-08-02). "To Hell with You People". National Review. 
  32. ^ Jennifer Rubin (2011-08-03). "New York Times columnist accuses Tea Party of ‘waging jihad’". The Washington Post. 
  33. ^ Peter Suderman (2011-08-02). "Tea Party Terrorists, Satan Sandwiches, Global Salvation, and the Worst Law In History: A Guide to Debt Debate Hyperbole". Reason. 
  34. ^ Joe Nocera (2011-08-05). "The Tea Party, Take Two". The New York Times. 
  35. ^ "Past winners & finalists by category: Commentary". Pulitzer Prize. 

External links[edit]