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New York-based political blog honoured with 2008 IPI Free Media Pioneer Award

(IPI/IFEX) - The following is an 18 June 2008 IPI press release:

IPI Honours Talking Points Memo with 2008 Free Media Pioneer Award

On the occasion of its World Congress in Belgrade, Serbia (14-17 June 2008), the International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, honoured the New York-based political blog, Talking Points Memo (TPM), with the 2008 "IPI Free Media Pioneer" award.

David Kurtz, Managing Editor of Talking Points Memo, received the prize on behalf of TPM at the award ceremony in Belgrade on Tuesday, 17 June.

Created and run by the U.S. journalist, Joshua Micah Marshall, Talking Points Media ( ) is the flagship blog of TPM Media, a network of sites that includes TPMmuckraker, TPMCafe, and TPM Election Central. Mr. Marshall started Talking Points Memo in November 2000 during the Florida election recount. In 2002, Talking Points Memo was instrumental in the reporting that led to U.S. Senator Trent Lott's resignation as Senate Minority Leader following his controversial comments praising Senator Strom Thurmond's segregationist run for president in 1948.

In 2005, TPM launched TPMCafe, which features a collection of blogs about a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues. TPMmuckracker, launched in 2006, focuses on investigative reporting of political corruption, and exposed the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by President George W. Bush's administration. TPM's reporting resulted in the resignation of several high-level government officials and, in August 2007, of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

In 2008, Talking Points Memo won a George Polk Award for its coverage of the U.S. Attorney Scandal. So far, it is the only blog to win this prestigious award.

The annual IPI Free Media Pioneer Award was established in 1996 to honour organisations that have fought to ensure freer and more independent media in their country or region. The award is co-sponsored by the U.S.-based Freedom Forum, a non-partisan, international foundation dedicated to free press and free speech.

Previous winners of the Free Media Pioneer Award are: Mizzima News Agency, India/Burma (2007); the Yemen Times, Yemen (2006); SW Radio Africa, UK (2005); the Central Asia and Southern Caucasian Freedom of Expression Network - CASCFEN, Azerbaijan (2004); the Media Council of Tanzania (2003); the daily newspaper Danas, Serbia (2002); the on-line newspaper, Malaysia (2001); the Press and Society Institute - IPYS, Peru (2000); the Ethiopian Free Press Journalists' Association - EFJA (1999); Radio B-92, Yugoslavia (1998); the Alliance of Independent Journalists - AJI, Indonesia (1997); and NTV, Russia (1996).

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