Tom Engelhardt launched TomDispatch in October 2001 as an informal listserv offering commentary and collected articles from the global media to a select group of friends and colleagues. In November 2002, it gained its name and, as a project of the Nation Institute (now the Type Media Center), became a web-based publication aimed at providing “a regular antidote to the mainstream media.”
In the 18 years since, TomDispatch has regularly published three original articles weekly on subjects ranging from the American way of war and this country’s “forever wars” to economic inequality to the climate crisis. It has served as a syndicated source for websites ranging from Alternet and Common Dreams to the Nation magazine and Salon. Republished in newspapers, magazines, and scores of websites worldwide over the years, TomDispatch articles have garnered millions of pageviews, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been cited in publications from the New York Times to the Washington Post and myriad media outlets in between.
Under the auspices of the Type Media Center, the site continues to feature Tom Engelhardt’s regular commentaries on U.S. foreign policy and the original work of dozens of the best journalists, essayists, and public intellectuals around today, including Andrew Bacevich, Rebecca Gordon, Karen Greenberg, Adam Hochschild, William Hartung, Ann Jones, Michael Klare, Alfred McCoy, Rajan Menon, Nomi Prins, and Liz Theoharis, among so many others. Nick Turse, who also writes for the site, is its managing editor.
For the past two decades, TomDispatch has regularly featured the work of former government officials, whistleblowers, and other iconoclasts. The site regularly features the critical commentary of military veterans and critics of America’s “forever wars” of several generations, including Bacevich, William Astore, and Danny Sjursen. TomDispatch has launched bestselling books and the careers of writers who now ply their trade at other media outlets. Some years ago, the site gave rise to an independent publishing imprint, Dispatch Books, operating under the auspices of Haymarket Books.
In an era marked by the demise of iconic newspapers and online outlets, TomDispatch has been a continuing feature of the independent media ecosphere, outlasting scores of former collaborators and competitors alike. Devoted to well-crafted, longform writing and typified by tough-but-measured commentary and hard-hitting reporting, the site follows in the tradition of old-fashioned American muckraking journalism and iconic publications like I.F. Stone’s Weekly. The site relaunched in 2021 with a new design and a more reader-friendly format, but the same commitment to incisive analysis and hard-hitting critiques of U.S. national security policy and other pressing issues of the day. It continues to publish, without fear or favor, in the public interest, beholden to no editorial constraints, political party, or ideological orthodoxy. TomDispatch remains and will always be “a regular antidote to the mainstream media.”