Introducing TPMPrime

Today I’m proud to announce TPMPrime, a new Membership section designed for our most passionate, core readers. Do you visit TPM multiple times a day? (You can admit it, you’re among friends.) Is TPM a critical part of your news diet? Is TPM important to you? Then TPMPrime is designed for you.

Just so we’re crystal clear: this is not a paywall and never will be. Everything you see here on TPM today will continue to be here free to everyone. That won’t ever change.

This is different. Please join me after the jump to learn more.

Google says TPM has three to four million monthly readers. And we thank everyone of them. That’s how we sell advertising and fund the operation. That’s the core of our business. But that’s not our core audience of devoted readers — the folks who’d like to read our new deep-dive reports on critical issues our reporters are tracking every day (downloadable to your Kindle, Nook and other e-Readers); participate in regular discussions with TPM reporters and key outside policy experts we talk to every day; join the discussion about TPM’s editorial and publishing direction or join us for live events hosted by TPM.

TPM has the most interested, engaged and knowledgable audience anywhere on the web. And that audience, you, have always been at the heart of our editorial model. It was reader tips and feedback that helped us break the story that won us the first top tier journalism award ever won by a web native news organization. So to build and nurture that core group of readers TPMPrime will feature a special members only discussion forum, free from trolls and flyby commenters.

TPMPrime is your backstage pass to everything TPM. And I want you to join.

From its inception almost twelve years ago, TPM has been about building something new, constantly innovating, finding ways to build a journalism that is web-native, smart, independent and irreverent. This is the critical next step in that evolution. If you’re a core reader of the site, you’re going to love what we’re building at TPMPrime. But it’s also critically important to the future of the site that you become a member. That’s how we’re going to keep TPM vibrant, growing and hiring the kind of investigative reporting talent you’re going to want to read day in and day out.

Remember, TPM is that rare thing, a truly independent news organization. There’s no big corporation behind TPM, no big foundation, no wealthy family who keeps it running. We have to be as scrappy about building our revenue base as our reporters are at sleuthing out stories. And this is a critical part of not just building but diversifying our revenue base. So I need you to be part of this.

We start signing up members on Monday, October 1st and launch TPMPrime two weeks later on October 15th. I really hope you can join us.

If you have questions, please drop me a line at our comments email address at the upper right. I’m eager to hear your thoughts, expectations, criticisms.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

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