Washington, D.C. — Today, ThinkProgress is marking a decade of news coverage with an event on the changing digital media landscape and the future of digital media, featuring Politico Editor Susan Glasser, Fusion Digital Voices Editor and Jezebel Founder Anna Holmes, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, Huffington Post Senior Political Reporter and Politics Managing Editor Amanda Terkel, and ThinkProgress Editor-in-Chief Judd Legum.
Watch live today at 12:00 p.m. ET. Join the conversation on Twitter using #TP10.
The digital media landscape has changed drastically in the 10 years since ThinkProgress was founded in 2005. In a piece published today on ThinkProgress, ThinkProgress Founder and Editor-in-Chief Judd Legum wrote, “In 2005, Twitter didn’t exist and Facebook was only open to college students. Today, ThinkProgress has over 360,000 Twitter followers and 1.4 million Facebook fans...That’s because today we have a team of 35 smart, passionate, dedicated people who believe that writing about things that matter can make a difference.”
Since its founding, ThinkProgress has been at the forefront of breaking-news coverage, often bringing national attention to news ahead of its traditional news competitors and providing influential perspective on some of the biggest news stories of the past decade. In a narrative that continues to play out in the media, ThinkProgress is responsible for some of the earliest reports on the Koch brothers’ influence in American politics. As early as 2008, ThinkProgress began chronicling the Kochs’ trail of dark money at the center of Republican politics. Two years later, The New Yorker credited ThinkProgress on its early reporting of the Kochs’ influence, and ThinkProgress continues to shape reporting on the influence of money in politics in today’s news cycle.
In early 2012, ThinkProgress brought to light footage that showed Mitt Romney Communications Director Eric Fehrnstrom saying that Romney’s primary positions could be reset for the general election “like an Etch-A-Sketch.” Following the subsequent national attention, Chuck Todd commented on the post, stating on MSNBC that “ThinkProgress was the first one, and they spread it on Twitter like wildfire in the ways that Drudge used to be used by Republicans.”
More recently, ThinkProgress exposed the racist Facebook posts of Rep. Aaron Schock’s (R-IL) press secretary, in which he compared African Americans to zoo animals, quickly igniting a national firestorm. Weeks later, ThinkProgress was the first national outlet to pick up the story of Oklahoma lawmakers’ vote to ban Advanced Placement U.S. history classes.
ThinkProgress’ impact on the public sphere extends far beyond elections and politicking: Just a few weeks after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, ThinkProgress Editor-in-Chief Judd Legum published a post that offered the facts on the case and the charges against George Zimmerman. Cutting through the media frenzy by purely presenting the facts, the piece quickly went viral.
In many ways, ThinkProgress has transformed from a rapid-response hub into a sophisticated, highly reputable news source with impactful coverage and a highly engaged readership. And the reach of ThinkProgress continues to grow: In 2014, 71.8 million unique visitors visited ThinkProgress.org, a 44 percent increase from the year prior, while January 2015 was a record month for the site, with roughly 9.9 million unique visitors.
Read more: ThinkProgress Turns Ten by Judd Legum
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