about  /   archives  /   contact  /   subscribe  /   twitter    
Share this entry
Make this entry better

What are we missing? Is there a key link we skipped, or a part of the story we got wrong?

Let us know — we’re counting on you to help Encyclo get better.

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Key links:
Primary website:
motherjones.com
Primary Twitter:
@motherjones

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Mother Jones is a nonprofit, liberal, bimonthly magazine that specializes in investigative reporting.

Mother Jones was founded in 1976 and is based in San Francisco. In 2008, the magazine opened a Washington bureau with seven staff members. The bureau had a staff of 16 as of 2014, while the entire magazine had a staff of about 80.

Mother Jones is published by the Foundation for National Progress, which exists solely to support the magazine. About half of the magazine’s annual revenue comes from major grants and donations, with the remainder from smaller donations, subscriptions, newsstand sales, and advertising. It has stood out from other nonprofit news outlets for its diversity of revenue sources. In 2012, nearly 39,000 people donated to the magazine. It also sells ads for both the print magazine and website.

Mother Jones’ circulation increased sharply in the early 2000s, though it has dipped slightly during the Obama administration. The magazine says total circulation is 215,000, about three-quarters of which are paid subscriptions.

Mother Jones was among the first magazines to launch a website in 1993. In 2009, the magazine rebuilt its site on the open-source platform Drupal with the intent that readers help it with data mashups and other projects. The redesign also included a commenting system that allows users to tag comments as “solutions” or “results” as a way to highlight civic participation. The magazine was also among the first news organizations to join the data archiving project DocumentCloud.

In 2010, Mother Jones launched The Climate Desk, a collaborative initiative covering climate change, which it spearheaded. The project includes The Atlantic, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, Slate, Wired, and PBS’ Need to Know. Mother Jones is also a founding member of the Media Consortium, a group of liberal publications that launched in 2006, also creating an advertising network.

The magazine reported record-breaking web traffic in February 2011, a 420 percent increase from the year before. Mother Jones attributed its growth in part to an expanded focus on explainers, which bring context to big news stories, as well as to rapid growth in social media. Its digital ad sales also rose 97 percent in the first of half of 2011 over the previous year. It doubled its previous record high traffic number in September 2012, when it posted a video of presidential candidate Mitt Romney making controversial comments about American who didn’t pay federal income tax. Its traffic continued to rise to new highs in 2014, thanks to continued work in drawing traffic from social media.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
June 18, 2018 / Christine Schmidt
A look at how foundations are helping the journalism industry stand up straight — Foundations across the U.S. are helping journalists watchdog the powerful — but who’s watching the foundations? The state of the journalism industry might be much more tattered right now if not for philanthropic ...
Dec. 19, 2017 / Shan Wang
To make fundraising appeals more appealing, Mother Jones turns them into stories readers want to read — December is the season for fundraising appeals. In an inbox awash with individual appeals from publishers, standing out is tough, and brevity seems the obvious way to go. Mother Jones has found success instead in longfor...
Jan. 26, 2017 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: Rebuilding the news media will require doubling-down on its core values — “Alt-what?” I asked the audience of the leaders of America’s alternative press, in a talk last Friday, the day of the inauguration and the day before an estimated 100,000 people marched through downtown...
Jan. 10, 2017 / Ricardo Bilton
When it comes to legal issues, journalism schools leave students unprepared, a new study argues — It’s a dangerous time to be a journalist in a courtroom. Aggressive lawsuits against Gawker and Mother Jones, and more recently Techdirt, risk a chilling effect on news organizations and embolden powerful people wi...
Nov. 14, 2016 / Joseph Lichterman
After Trump’s win, news organizations see a bump in subscriptions and donations — As election results came in last Tuesday night, ProPublica started seeing a big increase in donations. In the first days after Donald Trump was elected, ProPublica’s donations were “running at about 10 times ...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: August 14, 2014.
Make this entry better
How could this entry improve? What's missing, unclear, or wrong?
Name (optional)
Email (optional)
San Diego News Network logo

The San Diego News Network was an online local news organization in Southern California. The network was founded in March 2009 by local tech entrepreneur Neil Senturia with a $1 million budget and 16 full-time employees, along with freelancers and bloggers. In May 2010, it laid off employees at each of its sites, ended its…

Put Encyclo on your site
Embed this Encyclo entry in your blog or webpage by copying this code into your HTML:

Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.
Some rights reserved. Copyright information »