Thoughts on a New Year

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December 31, 2019 3:53 p.m.

We’ve come down to the final day of 2019 and the last day of the second decade of the 21st century. At TPM this was a challenging year – a lot of change, negotiating our first collective bargaining agreement, some substantial management reorganization of how the operation runs and a lot of grinding work (batting out single after single) to secure the financial basis of the organization.

But it was also a good year, really a very good year. Because we managed to accomplish the key things we needed to accomplish, which is really all that matters. Indeed, key accomplishments were ones that not only worked for us this year but laid the groundwork for vitality for years to come.

Beyond continuing to do what we do in what I suspect will be one of most political consequential years of our lives, I have two big goals for TPM in 2020. The first is to continue to strengthen the company’s finances and business model. The second is to build out our capacity for more original reporting.

Obviously the two goals are tightly intertwined. I am mainly proud that we’ve been able to keep our operation intact and vibrant as the larger news publishing industry has been so buffeted. But precisely because of that – our relative good fortune amidst a chaotic horizon – I see that what we do is more important than ever. We managed to be significantly ahead of the curve on the unfolding Ukraine story and its umbilical connection to the Trump/Russia investigation. That was no accident but the product of great work by our team and the kind of deep immersion in a story that allows you to see around the corner.

We will do a lot more of that next year.

More than anything else I am excited by what this group, this organization can do going forward, the stories it can break and unfolding events it can chronicle in its own unique fashion.

The focus on finances and business models may seem odd for an editorial organization. But as I learned long ago, none of the editorial stuff matters or even exists if you don’t have a business that can sustain it.

To close out the year I want to thank all our members. Thank you for believing in what we do. Thanks for ponying up a subscription fee that allows us to keep doing it. Enjoy the 2019 Golden Dukes festivities. We all look forward to seeing you again and again next year.

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