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Talking Points Memo's Polk Award a Major Step Forward

Will Bunch takes note of “A landmark day for bloggers — and the future of journalism“:

But I want to highlight one Polk Award that shows there are emerging models for using the very tool at the root of the turmoil of the news business — the Internet — as a newfangled way to re-invent investigative reporting — by using new techniques that emphasize collaboration over competition and by working with readers and through collective weight of many news sources to expose government misconduct.

It would have seemed incredible a couple of years ago, but a George Polk Award was given this morning to a blogger.

Not just any blogger, of course. Josh Marshall … of Talking Points Memo may have started back in 2000 as a kind of blogging stereotype, posting late at night from his small D.C. apartment and from the corner Starbucks and — in just two years — shining a light on the remarks that cost Sen. Trent Lott his GOP Senate leadership post, but he’s turned his operation into much, much more.

Since 2002 Marshall has moved to New York and — thanks to increasing ad revenue — made Talking Points Memo into a new kind of journalistic enterprise for the 21st Century, hiring a staff of a half dozen talented young journalists and rewriting the rules with a mix of commentary and original muckraking while highlighting the work of other to focus like a laser on the big political questions.

2 Comments on “Talking Points Memo's Polk Award a Major Step Forward”

  1. #1 Jon Garfunkel
    on Feb 19th, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Props out to Marshall — in the blog world, there’s TPM and there’s no second place. Call him a blogger, but he’s an editor-publisher, with staff, deadlines, original raking.

    But let’s get our facts straight on the Talking Points Meme. TPM wasn’t the first to tie together the firing trend. It was Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office (TPM did the right thing in reporting on it.) And the NYT wrote an editorial on the firings before TPM kicked into gear.

    (It’s possible that TPM fed this to Feinstein. But Rood didn’t tell me this happened, and I couldn’t get a source on the justice committee to push that story either. It’s more likely that when two federal prosecutors in CA got axed, they called their Senators.)

    As we know, TPM did run with it from this point. Grant that the WaPo was busy on Walter Reed, and the rest of the bogosphere was jammed into the Libby trial. Blog references to “U.S. Attorney” didn’t surpass “Iraq surge” or “Obama” until March 13th when the NYT put the story on the front page.

    The overnght swarm of the document dump was overrated as well; it didn’t quite produce the amount of intelligence given all the readers working on it (I have a separate article on that). But the foray into video was bold and inspired.

    So, cheers to TPM– don’t get complacent now! (But are they really prepared for 2009?)

  2. #2 Notes from a Teacher: Mark on Media » Friday squibs
    on Feb 22nd, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    […] Talking Points Memo’s Polk Award a Major Step Forward. This is not a journalism award for a blogger, it is a journalism award for a journalist whose primary platform is his blog. Subtle distinction, perhaps, and still a “major step forward” in validating the work that goes on outside the big media tent. More good news abut the new possibilities for journalism: Witt’s Representative Journalism Funded for $51,000. […]