Thomas D. Gommes ’02

Making Headlines

By Joy Y. Wang

Summer 2011

Ten years ago, Thomas D. Gommes ’02 was elected to a position as a senior editor of the Columbia Law Review. Gommes knew the role would help him gain experience he could draw upon during his legal career. His ability to pay close attention to details while working on a tight deadline also unexpectedly prepared him to take on another field: the world of publishing.

With the skills he honed as an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, as well as a degree from Columbia Journalism School, Gommes founded The Periscope Post in December of 2009. The Post is a website that curates and analyzes daily news stories.

Gommes’ motivation for creating the site is as clear as it is forward thinking. In addition to presenting a summary of a range of opinions on main news issues, so that “nobody has to be limited to their own choir,” he notes the importance of fostering online dialogue. “I want to inspire debate about what’s going on in the news,” Gommes says. “It’s important that non-professional journalists have a voice, as well.”

The Periscope Post’s growth, even in its first year, supports Gommes’ editorial approach. During that time, the site’s readership has grown steadily, and advertisers and investors alike have noticed.

Despite the uncertain future of media and the technology that shapes it, Gommes remains optimistic. “In many ways, the future of journalism is the present and past of journalism—just in a different format,” he says. “I don’t think it’s going to change from storytelling or raising different issues.”