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The Lessons You Have Taught Me

After seven exciting and rewarding years with ThinkProgress, I’ll be moving on at the end of this week to take a new position with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Before I go, I wanted to personally thank our readership for the many important lessons you’ve taught me. Among them:

— You reward journalism that focuses on substantive issues. Our reporting has always put an emphasis on impacting public policy debates, operating on the theory that readers didn’t want substance-less punditry on our blog but rather wanted to be educated with facts and research. We built it, and you came.

— You appreciate fact-based coverage that has a point-of-view. News events almost always have a moral valence: They make us angry or happy; there’s someone who we think is is right or wrong; there are truths, and there are lies. We rejected the “false balancing” of the traditional media and instead did our best to be the most credible umpires around. Because we call it as we see it, our value to you as advocacy journalists increased rather than decreased.

— The base of our power exists among self-motivated activists. You don’t just read our stories; you act on them. You take our reporting and you share it with your friends, the media, politicians, and others. Because you do, we’ve been able to attain real-world impact with our reporting, including recent successes in highlighting Rush Limbaugh’s sexism, Koch’s dangerous ideology, ALEC’s agenda of disempowering minorities, Heartland’s science denial, and so much more.

Ultimately, all we do is write words and publish them on a webpage. You make them important, and we can’t thank you enough for it. For that reason, ThinkProgress is a community-wide success. The Center for American Progress and John Podesta deserve much credit for making repeated investments in the blog and understanding its value.

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I’ll miss waking up everyday and watching the impact that we can have together. I’ll miss figuring out which stories you wanted us to focus on. And most of all, I’ll miss working with a phenomenally dedicated and hard-working team that is the best-of-the-best in online journalism.

If you’d ever like to reach me in the future, you can email me here. Thanks for making this such an enjoyable seven years and for teaching me lessons that will last a lifetime.

Update:

I also want to wish my talented colleague Alex Seitz-Wald best wishes as he moves on to a new position with Salon. He was a fantastic reporter who was a consummate team player, and he will leave behind a great legacy of work.