Talking Points Memo was something quite successful to come out of the Florida recount situation in 2000. Josh Marshall's discussion about how TPM started brought up three good points.
The first point being that TPM relied heavily on the community in order to be successful. People donated money, which was obviously helpful, but more importantly, people contributed their own research to help TPM in what Marshall described as "collaborative journalism."
Second, Marshall pointed out that TPM raised $100,000 from fundraising, but not in large chunks of donations. These donations were small; $50 were maybe the largest amounts people were donating. This only goes to show that TPM received many donations in order to hire new, young journalists. In the age of pay walls on websites like The New York Times or Newsday, less and less people want to pay for news, but rather for the hiring of new journalists to report it. People want free news, but they don't believe in it enough.
Lastly, Marshall says, "The point at which we succeed, we also lose the story," meaning that when the independent journalists have gotten the mainstream media outlets to notice and the story gets too big, it's not their story anymore. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just means it's harder for Marshall's two investigative reporters "to make much headway."