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May 20, 2008

'Talking Points Memo' founder to give Knight Lecture

Josh Marshall, founder of the influential blog "Talking Points Memo," will give the 20th annual Knight Lecture at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, in Room 41 of Jordan Hall.

Sponsored by the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists, the lecture is titled "New Frontier: Journalism's Opportunity in Web 2.0." It is free and open to the public.

Since Marshall created "Talking Points Memo" during the Florida recount of the 2000 election, it has grown into a major enterprise, including TPM Muckraker, TPM Election Central and TPM Café. Its coverage has often been ahead of mainstream news media, an achievement that was recognized this year when Marshall became the first blogger to win a George Polk Award. The award was given for his coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of U.S. Attorneys across the country, which ultimately led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Although most U.S. news organizations have added blogs to their websites, the question of whether independently operated blogs such as "Talking Points Memo" should be considered journalistic organizations continues to be a subject of debate in some journalism circles.

Marshall considers his reporters to be journalists, just working in a new medium. "We have kind of broken free of the model of discrete articles that have a beginning and end. Instead, there are an ongoing series of dispatches," he told the New York Times. "Talking Points Memo" has a newsroom in Manhattan and a staff of eight, including one in Washington, D.C.

Marshall is publisher of all the "Talking Points Memo" websites and also writes a weekly column for the Capitol Hill newspaper, The Hill. His articles have appeared in many U.S. and international publications, including American Prospect, Atlantic Monthly, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New Yorker, New York Post, New York Times, Salon and Slate.

In addition to the Polk Award, he also received a Sidney Hillman Award in 2006 for reporting on President Bush's attempt to phase out Social Security.

Marshall graduated from Princeton in 1991 and holds a doctorate in American history from Brown University.

The Knight Fellowships program brings outstanding mid-career journalists, 12 from the U.S. and eight from other countries, to study at Stanford for an academic year. It has sponsored an annual lecture since 1988.



James Bettinger, professor (teaching) of communication and Knight Fellowships director: (650) 725-1189,

Dawn Garcia, deputy director, Knight Fellowships: (650) 723-4937,

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