As an independent newsroom that keeps tabs on American politics, public policy and political culture, Talking Points Memo states its goal as “neither balance nor objectivity but accuracy, fairness and a fundamental honesty with our readers and members at all times.” This mission is not only reflected in the articles TPM publishes but also presented loud and proud on its About page.
Here is what we can learn from the Talking Points Memo approach for ComingFrom.org:
Keep your goals simple (but don’t forget to elaborate)
TPM doesn’t bury its goals in a bunch of jargon. Instead, the mission is crisp and catchy with three straight forward bullet points.
- Do great journalism
- Be a great place to work
- Make enough money to do both
At the same time, TPM explains how to achieve these objectives and nurture its values.
- TPM: “Great journalism also means transparency — transparency not just in who we are or what we believe as an organization, but what we know at any given time. Our never-ending objective is to keep our readers as informed as we are.”
If you believe in your approach, say it out loud
TPM embraces the audience-centric approach to journalism and strives to create an impact for the reader. By including this practice in the statement, the publisher commits to staying true to that value.
- TPM: “As a member-funded publication, building and maintaining a community is critical to us. We think important communication goes both ways. We are constantly engaging with readers and incorporating their feedback not just into our reporting but also the way in which we build our site and present our work.”
Largely funded by members, TPM makes clear that its money goes toward quality journalism. Pie charts work well to explain the business model and assure readers that their support benefits journalists.
- TPM: “As a fully independent organization, TPM has no corporate overlords. TPM is not beholden to or controlled by any outside interests. ”