‘Old fashion journalism’ at core of success

We were skeptical when we saw that TV Week had named TMZ.com its Internet Site of the Year but, regardless of the subject matter, it’s hard to argue once founder Harvey Levin explains what the celebrity gossip and entertainment news sites does.

“We do old fashion journalism. With Tiger Woods, we came in during the Thanksgiving weekend. I don’t know how many other reporters were working, but we were working 18-hour days. And we were working the telephones. We were basically assembling a lot of information that ultimately led to a lot of stories. We did that with Michael Jackson, we did it with Mel Gibson, we did it with Anna Nicole Smith. At its core, we try and develop sources who will trust us, and who will talk to us. I think the business has been based on trust and on just beating the bushes as in old fashioned journalism. I’ve done this for many years. I’ve been a journalist for decades. And that’s the core of it.

“… I’ve been in this town for almost 30 years working as a journalist. And I’ve got a lot of contacts. And I use them. And other people on my staff have developed them too. We work really hard. At five o’clock, everybody doesn’t say, oh I’m going home. And I think, whether you want to believe it or not, it makes all the difference in the world.”

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