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Key links:
Primary website:
talkingpointsmemo.com
Primary Twitter:
@tpm

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Talking Points Memo is a political news site with a liberal editorial voice.

Commonly known as TPM, it was founded in 2000 by Josh Marshall, initially as a personal blog commenting on the Florida recount in that year’s presidential elections. In 2003, Marshall asked his readers for donations to cover the cost of his reporting on the New Hampshire primary, and later fundraising fueled additional expansion into TPM Muckraker and the reader-driven conversation site TPM Cafe. TPM is based in New York City and has a bureau in Washington, D.C.

TPM is one of the largest, most influential political blogs on the web, with 21 million pageviews and 3 million unique visitors per month as of May 2012.

TPM helped expose controversial comments by Trent Lott in 2002 that led the senator to resign his position as Senate majority leader. In 2007, it played a critical role in investigating the firings of nine U.S. attorneys by the Bush administration, a series of stories for which it was the first online news organization to be granted a George Polk Award.

TPM has employed reporters since 2005, when Marshall raised more than $100,000 from his readers to hire two reporters. It had a staff of 16 in early 2010, and 28 in 2012. It joined the White House press pool in 2009, and Marshall expanded TPM’s DC bureau thereafter. He has said he plans to broaden the site’s coverage into technology, foreign policy, and financial news. As of May 2012, TPM had a total of 28 full-time staffers.

The site practices what Marshall and others have called collaborative journalism or crowdsourcing, using tips, reporting, and explanatory writing from readers alongside original reporting to piece together wide-ranging stories.

TPM Media received no significant investment money until a 2009 investment by the venture fund Andreessen Horowitz; the company is supported almost entirely by advertising. It was profitable as of early 2009. In 2012, the site launched TPM Prime, a membership system that gives access to staff, newsmakers, and a community of other members.

TPM began selling ads in 2003 and began producing videos in 2004, and although its production of original videos dropped off, it has moved back into video as part of a more mobile-centered strategy. It has experimented with video advertising and geotargeted advertising. It began releasing mini-ebooks called TPM Singles in 2012.

TPM’s first mobile app, launched in 2012, was not for the site itself, but for its Polltracker vertical.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Sept. 13, 2016 / Nicholas Quah
Hot Pod: Amazon’s next move is giving its Audible original programming to all Prime members — Welcome to Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts. This is issue eighty-seven, published September 13, 2016. Just out this morning: Audible Channels now comes bundled with the Amazon Prime membership. The new offering is o...
July 19, 2016 / Ricardo Bilton
With 11,000 subscribers, Talking Points Memo says its paid product has helped stabilize its business — What are the benefits of paying Talking Points Memo $50 a year (or $5 a month) for a TPM Prime subscription? You get perks like a premium layout and a members-only discussion forum, but most important is probably the wa...
April 7, 2016 / Scott Klein
Want to start a small data journalism team in your newsroom? Here are 8 steps — 1 It’s okay to start small. A player-coach plus one developer can build incredible things — TPM’s election night coverage in 2012 was innovative and nationally competitive and built by two people. The L.A. ...
Nov. 13, 2014 / Ken Doctor
The newsonomics of Talking Points Memo’s native advertising shift — Call it addition by subtraction, or deduction over misdirection. The commercial progress of Talking Points Memo is a telling lesson in the maturation of digital native news companies. TPM was born very much a blog, one o...
June 24, 2014 / Joshua Benton
SCOTUSblog can’t get a credential: “If the rules really require this outcome, then you’ve got bad rules” — Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall has a piece up that summarizes the issues around whether or not SCOTUSblog — the premier real-time source for news about the Supreme Court — should get credentials to cover t...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: October 4, 2012.
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