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Truthdig is a news website that provides a mix of long-form articles, blog items, curated links, interviews, arts criticism and commentary on current events delivered from a politically progressive, left-leaning point of view. The site offers independent journalism and focuses on major “digs” that drill beneath the headlines to reveal facts overlooked or not reported by mainstream media. The Truthdig site draws over 1 million visitors per month. Truthdig was co-founded in 2005 by Zuade Kaufman and Robert Scheer, who serves as editor in chief.
Type of site
|News commentary, editorials|
|Alexa rank||25,114 (January 2017[update])|
Kaufman got her first job in journalism at KCET in Los Angeles and worked in documentaries before moving to print journalism. She worked with Scheer at the Los Angeles Times’ hyperlocal editions Westside Weekly and Our Times as a researcher and then as a reporter. When the newspaper changed owners and the local editions were cut, Kaufman went on to get her masters in journalism at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communications. She began developing an online news site while still a student and she and Scheer launched Truthdig the year she graduated and right after Scheer was pushed out of the Los Angeles Times.
Kaufman and Scheer insist on high journalistic standards and their team is composed of writers and editors from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, New York Daily News, and other major publications.Their goal is to create a home for provocative and talented writers and to give them the freedom to pursue a story wherever it takes them.
At the time, conventional wisdom had it that no one would read long stories on the Internet. Kaufman begged to differ and set up a site featuring meaty reporting on important issues.
The site is not influenced by advertisers or shareholders and is not controlled by any outside entity.
Significant contributors include Bill Blum, Bill Boyarsky, Noam Chomsky, Juan Cole, Gore Vidal, Sam Harris, Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, Sonali Kolhatkar, Greg Palast, Carrie Rickey, Danny Sjursen, cartoonist Mr. Fish (Dwayne Booth), and animator Mark Fiore.
In October 2006, Truthdig published a 660-word essay titled "After Pat's Birthday" about NFL player and American soldier Pat Tillman's death written by his brother Kevin. The essay was widely distributed and was cited in the New York Times and the Associated Press.
On the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War, Truthdig published "The Last Letter" by Tomas Young, a veteran paralyzed in Iraq, in which he addresses George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and condemns them as war criminals. The letter, written as Young awaits his death under hospice care, was translated into several languages and printed world-wide.
Truthdig has been used as a data source in communication studies research on systematic differences in coverage of political events by alternative media (such as Truthdig) versus mainstream media. Truthdig has also been included in a set of news sources subjected to statistical analysis intended to identify credible sources.
As of October 2017, Truthdig has won six Webby Awards, including four regular Webbys and two Webby People's Voice Awards. In 2007, it won both a regular Webby and a Webby People's Voice Award. At the 2010 ceremony for the Webby Awards, which traditionally limit acceptance speeches to five words, Robert Scheer accepted on behalf of Truthdig, saying: "Wall Street—what fucking thieves."
Truthdig and its individual journalists have won numerous awards from the Los Angeles Press Club, including 11 Southern California (SoCal) Journalism Awards in 2017, three in 2013, and five in 2010. The 11 SoCal awards from 2017 included three first-place awards, in the categories "Editorial Cartoon", "Investigative", and "Political Column/Commentary—Election". The three SoCal awards from 2013 included one first-place award, in the category "Website, News Organization, Exclusive to the Internet". The five SoCal awards from 2010 included four first-place awards, in the categories "Online Journalist", "Online Column/Commentary/Criticism", "Online Sports News/Feature/Commentary", and "Website, Exclusive to the Internet—Budget over 10K".
As of October 2017, Truthdig journalists have won three Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists: two to cartoonist Mr. Fish (Dwayne Booth) in 2009 and 2010, and one to Robert Scheer for "Online Column Writing (Independent)" in 2011.
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