Type of site
|News commentary, editorials|
|Created by||Zuade Kaufman|
|Current status||"On hiatus"|
Truthdig is an American 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 purport to look beneath headlines to reveal facts overlooked or not reported by mainstream media. As of 2014, the Truthdig site drew over 400,000 visitors per month. Truthdig was co-founded in 2005 by Zuade Kaufman and Robert Scheer, who served as editor in chief.
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.
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 worldwide.
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.
Work stoppage and dissolution
On March 11, 2020, nine employees of Truthdig signed a statement announcing a work stoppage "to protest what they describe as unfair labor conditions and the effort by the publisher, Zuade Kaufman, to remove the site's founding Editor-in-Chief and co-owner Robert Scheer." On March 27, Truthdig publisher and CEO Zuade Kaufman responded in an open letter that attributed the matter to "negotiations to end the business partnership between me, Truthdig's Publisher and CEO, and Robert Scheer, its Editor-in-Chief." On March 25, Truthdig employees were emailed to the effect that "Truthdig LLC was being dissolved and that our positions at the publication had been terminated." According to the statement, 15 employees would be affected. The Truthdig website concomitantly posted an announcement that Truthdig was "going on a hiatus". As of April 2021[update], it remains on hiatus, although articles preceding the labor dispute are intact.
- Leibowitz, Ed (February 25, 2014). "Can you dig it? Yes you can". Media. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-05. (Archives by page: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3.)
- Roderick, Kevin (December 12, 2005). "The woman behind Truthdig". LA Observed. Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- Kaufman, Zuade (May 2013). "Zuade Kaufman, publisher of Truthdig". Live Encounters (Interview). Interviewed by Mark Ulyseas. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- Tillman, Kevin (November 6, 2009). "After Pat's Birthday" (Reprint of October 19, 2006 article). Truthdig. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- Archibold, Randal C. (October 24, 2006). "Brother of N.F.L. Star Posts Antiwar Essay". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- Young, Tomas (March 19, 2013). "The Last Letter; A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran". Truthdig. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- Cissel, Margaret (Spring 2012). "Media framing: a comparative content analysis on mainstream and alternative news coverage of Occupy Wall Street" (PDF). Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications. Elon University. 3 (1): 67–77. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
- Mukherjee, Subhabrata; Weikum, Gerhard (October 18–23, 2015). "Leveraging joint interactions for credibility analysis in news communities". CIKM ’15: Proceedings of the 24th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management. 24th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2015), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. New York: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 353–362. arXiv:1705.02667. doi:10.1145/2806416.2806537. ISBN 978-1-4503-3794-6.
- "Truthdig". Webby Awards. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Truthdig: Blog—Political". Webby Awards. 2007. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Truthdig: Blog—Political". Webby Awards. 2010. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Truthdig: Blog—Political". Webby Awards. 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Truthdig: Politics". Webby Awards. 2013. Archived from the original on 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "Truthdig: Blog—Political". Webby Awards. 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
- "59th SoCal Journalism Awards winners announced". Los Angeles Press Club. June 25, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
- "Winners of 55th Annual SoCal Journalism Awards 2013" (PDF). Los Angeles Press Club. 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
- "Winners of 52nd Annual SoCal Journalism Awards announced". Los Angeles Press Club. June 27, 2010. Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
- "Announcing winners of the 2009 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for journalism". Society of Professional Journalists. May 3, 2010. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
- "Announcing winners of the 2010 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for journalism". Society of Professional Journalists. May 10, 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-06-23. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
- "2011 Sigma Delta Chi Award honorees". Society of Professional Journalists. 2011. Archived from the original on 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2017-10-07.
- "Truthdig Employees Stop Work to Protest Labor Conditions". CounterPunch. CounterPunch News Service. March 11, 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "Open Letter from Truthdig's Publisher & CEO: Breaking My Silence". Truthdig. Truthdig. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- "Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers". CounterPunch. CounterPunch News Service. March 27, 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- Karlis, Nicole (March 28, 2020). "Truthdig staff laid off amid work stoppage". Salon. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "Home page". Truthdig. Retrieved 25 April 2021.