Saturday, March 17, 2007

Talking Points Memo in the News

It's been weird hearing Talking Points Memo or "TPMMuckraker"mentioned in the news the last few days as the guys who noticed the US Attorney story early on, stuck with it, and largely blew it open. But part of the reason they stuck with it is because they were familiar with some of the US Attorneys from earlier stories, particularly Carol Lam who had pursued the Duke Cunningham case. It's good old fashioned journalism that employs the modern tools of blogs, reader tips and the internet.

Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo are featured in a Los Angeles Times story by Terry McDermott:
IN a third-floor Flower District walkup with bare wooden floors, plain white walls and an excitable toy poodle named Simon, six guys dressed mainly in T-shirts and jeans sit all day in front of computer screens at desks arranged around the oblong room's perimeter, pecking away at their keyboards and, bit by bit, at the media establishment.

The world headquarters of TPM Media is pretty much like any small newsroom, anywhere, except for the shirts. And the dog. And the quiet. Most newsrooms are notably noisy places, full of shrill phones and quacking reporters. Here there is mainly quiet, except for the clacking keyboards.

It's 20 or so blocks up town to the heart of the media establishment, the Midtown towers that house the big newspaper, magazine and book publishers. And yet it was here in a neighborhood of bodegas and floral wholesalers that, over the last two months, one of the biggest news stories in the country — the Bush administration's firing of a group of U.S. attorneys — was pieced together by the reporters of the blog Talking Points Memo.

Read the whole story. You can begin to understand why some powerful Republicans dislike blogs. A good blog like Talking Points Memo can restore journalism's ability to shine a bright shining light on government shennigans (though keep in mind that Josh Marshall and his team are often doing real journalism, such as making phone calls and chasing down information, etc.).

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Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Blogging is an excellent medium for serious journalism, and the TPM crew is to be commended.

What's required is the same as in other media: budget, time, effort and contacts, not necessarily in that order.

12:01 AM  

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