The Alternet article about Talking Points Memo winning the George Polk truly epitomizes the importance blogging is playing in the news world. While awards are great and being recognized is nice, the expansion and continual work TPM has undergone exemplifies the role blogging is now playing in the news cycle.
TPM has created a news model that is not just about producers and consumers; it is about the relationship between the two and how there is a give and take. Readers become more invested in a news outlet, when they are actually contributing to the news they are reading, especially when it actually affects them. TPM would not have been able to develop the story about the attorney generals as quick as it did, if it had not not the readers’ support. This is one way blogs are interacting with its readers, and it is a way to create a stronger platform.
TPM was also covering this story before the mainstream media, which shows that blogs need to be taken seriously and be considered credible news sources. The attorney general story was a story the MSM should have been covering, but wasn’t. There is the tendency for blogs to pick up on stories, important stories, the MSM is not catching. Journalists and future journalists need to recognize this because the outlets that should be the most trusted, aren’t necessarily covering the most important stories. There are a lot of stories happening, both nationally and internationally, that could have significant consequences, and the independent bloggers are the ones picking up on it first. Where people should be desiring to work is changing, if future journalists want to be engaging in important journalism.
With this award TPM has also proven that all good journalism does not have to be unbiased work. It has a clear slant and agenda, which works for the type of journalism it is trying to produce. The journalism being produced matches TPM’s goals and beliefs, which is the freedom bloggers have allowed themselves. There is no one that is being answered too, and no one to appease.
Seven years ago when this award was given, TPM had proven that blogs need to be taken seriously in the news business and since then their prominence and importance has only increased.