Mother Jones (magazine)

Mother Jones (abbreviated MoJo) is an American magazine that focuses on news, commentary, and investigative reporting on topics including politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Its political inclination is variously described as either liberal or progressive.[2] Clara Jeffery serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine. Steve Katz has been the publisher since 2010; Monika Bauerlein has been the CEO since 2015.[3][4][5] Mother Jones is published by The Foundation for National Progress.[6]

The magazine was named after Mary Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones, an Irish-American trade union activist and ardent opponent of child labor.[7]

Mother Jones
Mother Jones Logo
Mother Jones magazine March-April 2014 Cover Image
Mother Jones magazine March–April 2014 cover
Editor-in-ChiefClara Jeffery
Total circulation
First issueFebruary 1976
CompanyFoundation for National Progress
CountryUnited States
Based inSan Francisco, California, U.S.


For the first five years after its inception in 1976,[6] Mother Jones operated with an editorial board, and members of the board took turns serving as managing editor for one-year terms. People who served on the editorial team during those years included Adam Hochschild, Paul Jacobs, Richard Parker, Deborah Johnson, Jeffrey Bruce Klein, Mark Dowie, Amanda Spake, Zina Klapper, and Deirdre English. According to Hochschild, Parker, "who worked as both editor and publisher, saw to it that Mother Jones took the best of what could be learned from the world of commercial publishing."[8]

Michael Moore, who had owned and published the Flint, Michigan-based Michigan Voice for ten years, followed English and edited Mother Jones for several months, until he was fired for disputed reasons. Matt Labash of The Weekly Standard reported this was for refusing to print an article that was critical of the Sandinista human rights record in Nicaragua[9]—a view supported by The Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn, but denied by Hochschild and others at the magazine.[10][11]

Moore believes that he was fired because of his defiant reaction to the publisher's refusal to allow him to cover a story on the GM plant closings in Flint.[12] Moore also felt that he did not have a chance to shape the magazine, and that many of the articles that were printed during his time as editor were articles that had already been commissioned by Deirdre English.

After being fired in 1986, Moore sued Mother Jones for $2 million for wrongful termination,[13] but settled with the magazine's insurance company for $58,000[14]—$8000 more than the initial offering.

Russ Rymer was named editor-in-chief in early 2005, and under his tenure the magazine published more essays and extensive packages of articles on domestic violence (July/August 2005),[15] and the role of religion in politics (December 2005).[16]

In August 2006, Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery were promoted from within to become co-editors of the magazine. Bauerlein and Jeffery, who had served as interim editors between Cohn and Rymer, were also chiefly responsible for some of the biggest successes of the magazine in the past several years, including a package on ExxonMobil's funding of climate change "deniers" (May/June 2005)[17] that was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Public Interest reporting; a package on the rapid decline in the health of the ocean (March/April 2006),[18] and the magazine's massive Iraq War Timeline interactive database.[19]

As the magazine's first post-baby boomer editors, Bauerlein and Jeffery used a new investigative team of senior and young reporters to increase original reporting, web-based database tools, and blog commentary on The cover of their first issue (November 2006) asked: "Evolve or Die: Can humans get past denial and deal with global warming?"[20][21] In 2015, Bauerlein became CEO and Jeffery became sole editor in chief.[5]

David Corn, a political journalist and former Washington editor for The Nation, is bureau chief of the magazine's newly established D.C. bureau.[22] Other D.C. staff have included Washington Monthly contributing editor Stephanie Mencimer, former Village Voice correspondent James Ridgeway, and Adam Serwer from The American Prospect.


Mother Jones has been a finalist for 31 National Magazine Awards, winning seven times (including three times for General Excellence in 2001, 2008 and 2010).[23]

The Park Center for Independent Media named Mother Jones the winner of the fifth annual Izzy Award in April 2013, for "special achievement in independent media," for its 2012 reporting, including its analysis of gun violence in the United States, coverage of dark money funding of candidates, and release of a video of Mitt Romney stating that 47 percent of the people of the United States see themselves as victims and are dependent on the government.[24]

In August 2013, Mother Jones' co-editors Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery won the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing.[25] Also in 2010, Mother Jones won the Online News Association Award for Online Topical Reporting,[26] and in 2011 won the Utne Reader Independent Press Award for General Excellence.[27]

In 2017, Mother Jones won the Magazine of the Year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors.[28]

In addition to stories from the print magazine, offers original reported content seven days a week. During the 2008 presidential election campaign, journalist David Corn was the first to report John McCain's statement that it “would be fine with [him]” if the United States military were stay in Iraq for “maybe a hundred years”—that what should be assessed is not their simple presence (American troops are uncontroversially stationed in South Korea, Japan, Europe, Bosnia, and many other countries as facets of America's multilateralism), but how many casualties are being suffered.[29] Also in 2008, was the first outlet to report on Beckett Brown International, a security firm that spied on environmental groups for corporations.[30]

Winner of the 2005 and 2006 "People’s Choice" Webby Award for politics,[31] has provided extensive coverage of both Gulf wars, presidential election campaigns, and other key events of the last decade. Mother Jones began posting its magazine content on the Internet in November 1993, the first general interest magazine in the country to do so.[32] In the March/April 1996 issue, the magazine published the first Mother Jones 400, a listing of the largest individual donors to federal political campaigns. The print magazine listed the 400 donors in order with thumbnail profiles and the amount they contributed. (then known as the MoJo Wire) listed the donors in a searchable database.

In the 2006 election, was the first to break stories on the use of robocalling,[33] a story that TPM Muckraker and The New York Times picked up. The Iraq War Timeline interactive database,[19] a continually updated interactive online project, was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2006.[34]

In popular culture

In the 2004 film The Ladykillers, the character Garth Pancake (played by J. K. Simmons), a liberal activist turned criminal, attempts to run off with $1.6 million in cash that he and his partners stole from a gambling ferry boat. Pancake empties a bag full of the stolen cash and fills it with his collection of Mother Jones magazines.

The magazine is mentioned in the novel Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen, when two of the antagonists are riding in a car conversing about the publicity that the main antagonist promised they would all receive.

In 2016, Mother Jones ran an article on white supremacist Richard B. Spencer entitled "Meet The Dapper White Nationalist Who Wins Even If Trump Loses". The article received criticism, and Mother Jones later deleted a tweet promoting it and removed the term "dapper" from the title. The 2017 video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus featured a newspaper article entitled "Meet The Dapper Young KKK Leader With A Message Of Hope". Video game website Kotaku said the addition was "clearly a shot at Mother Jones and any other media outlet who decides to start getting cutesy about white supremacy".[35]


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-30.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ Roth, Zachary (3 October 2007). "Mother Jones Lures David Corn From The Nation". Observer. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Here Are The 5 Most Liberal And Conservative Media Twitter Feeds". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  4. ^ "Mother Jones Lures David Corn From The Nation". 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  5. ^ a b "Mother Jones names Monika Bauerlein Chief Executive Officer; Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2015-05-16.
  6. ^ a b Mother Jones Magazine. Mother Jones. November 1992. p. 3. ISSN 0362-8841. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2011-08-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Hochschild, Adam. "The History of Mother Jones". Retrieved October 19, 2012.
  9. ^ Schultz, Emily (2005). Michael Moore: a biorgraphy. 47–54: ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-699-1.
  10. ^ Cockburn, Alexander (September 13, 1986). "Beat the Devil". The Nation. New York, New York: The Nation Company L.P.: 198. ISSN 0027-8378.
  11. ^ Hochschild, Adam; Hazen, Don; Cockburn Alexander; et al. (1986-10-04). "Letters". The Nation. New York, New York: The Nation Company L.P.: 298, 323–324. ISSN 0027-8378.
  12. ^ Matt Labash. Michael Moore, One-Trick Phony. The Weekly Standard. June 8, 1998.
  13. ^ Jones, Alex S. (1986-09-27). "Radical Magazine Removes Editor, Setting Off A Widening Political Debate". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  14. ^ DiMare, Philip C. (2011-06-17). Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia [3 volumes]: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598842975.
  15. ^ "Domestic Violence: A Special Report". Mother Jones. July 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  16. ^ "Contents". Mother Jones. December 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  17. ^ "As The World Burns". Mother Jones. May 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  18. ^ "The Last Days of the Ocean". Mother Jones. March 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  19. ^ a b "Lie By Lie". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  20. ^ "Mother Jones November/December 2006 Issue". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  21. ^ "Editors' Note". Mother Jones. November–December 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  22. ^ "Mother Jones Lures David Corn From The Nation". The New York Observer. October 2, 2007. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2008.
  23. ^ "National Magazine Awards searchable database". Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  24. ^ Maley, David (7 March 2013). "Mother Jones Wins Izzy Award for Independent Media". Ithaca College. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  25. ^ "2013 PEN/Nora Magid Award | PEN America". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  26. ^ "2010 Awards". Online News Association. 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  27. ^ "Mother Jones Wins Izzy Award for Independent Media". Utne Reader. 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  28. ^ "Mother Jones wins the highest honor in the magazine industry". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  29. ^ David Corn (January 2008). "MotherJones Blog: McCain in NH: Would Be "Fine" To Keep Troops in Iraq for "A Hundred Years"". Mother Jones. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  30. ^ "Exclusive: Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups". Mother Jones. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  31. ^ 10th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners Archived April 12, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, 9th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners Archived January 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Richard R. Lingeman (2008). The Nation Guide to the Nation. Vintage Books. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-0-307-38728-8.
  33. ^ "Tales of a Push Pollster". Mother Jones. October 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  34. ^ "Mother Jones: MPA". Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  35. ^ Gach, Ethan (October 30, 2017). "Wolfenstein 2 Collectible Mocks Progressive Magazine Over Its Coverage Of White Nationalists". Kotaku. Archived from the original on October 30, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2018.

External links

Ben Dreyfuss

Benjamin Dreyfuss (/ˈdraɪfəs/; born June 14, 1986) is an American journalist and actor. He is most-known for his work at Mother Jones, his performance as young Bernie Madoff in ABC's 2016 miniseries, and his charitable works on behalf of children's blindness.He is the elder son of Richard and Jeramie Dreyfuss.

Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery (born August 25, 1967) is the editor in chief of Mother Jones

Daniel Schulman (writer)

Daniel Schulman is an American author and journalist. He is a senior editor at the Washington, D.C. bureau of Mother Jones. In 2014, he wrote the book Sons of Wichita, a biography of the Koch family. In 2015, Schulman, along with David Corn, released a story in Mother Jones questioning whether Bill O'Reilly's story about his coverage of the Falklands War was accurate.

David Beers

David Beers is a Canadian journalist. He was born in 1957 and grew up in San Jose, California, where his father worked for Lockheed as a satellite test engineer. He attended Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. He was the former editor of Mother Jones Magazine. He is a faculty member in the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia.

David Corn

David Corn (born February 20, 1959) is an American political journalist, author, and the chief of the Washington bureau for Mother Jones. He has been Washington editor for The Nation and appeared regularly on FOX News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and opposite James Pinkerton or other media personalities.

In February 2013, he was named winner of the 2012 George Polk Award in journalism in the political reporting category for his video and reporting of the "47 percent story," Republican nominee Mitt Romney's videoed meeting with donors during the 2012 presidential campaign.As an author, Corn's output includes nonfiction and fiction and generally deals with government and politics. Corn has also been a book reviewer. On one occasion, he criticized his own organization when Nation Books published the translation of a controversial French book on Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. Forbidden Truth: US-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden, by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié, suggests that the attacks resulted from a breakdown in talks between the Taliban and the United States to run an oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Corn argued that publishing "contrived conspiracy theories" undermined the ability to expose actual governmental misbehavior.On November 1, 2017, Politico reported that David Corn's employer, Mother Jones magazine, had opened an investigation into allegations that Corn had engaged in inappropriate workplace behavior.

Debra Dickerson

Debra J. Dickerson (born 1959) is an American author, editor, writer, and current contributing writer and blogger for Mother Jones magazine. Dickerson has been most prolific as an essayist, writing frequently on race relations and racial identity in the United States.

Deirdre English

Deirdre English (born in 1948) is the former editor of Mother Jones and author of numerous articles for national publications and television documentaries. She has taught at the State University of New York and currently teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a faculty mentor at the Center for the Study of the Working Family at the Graduate School of Sociology. English is co-author, with Barbara Ehrenreich, of For Her Own Good: 150 Years of the Experts' Advice along with a number of pamphlets. She contributed essays to Susan Meiselas's photography book Carnival Strippers. Her mother is Fanita English. She was married to Don Terner, who died in a 1996 plane crash in Croatia.

Graveyard Whistling

Graveyard Whistling is the eleventh studio album by American alt-country band Old 97's, released on February 24, 2017. The album's title comes from the song "Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls." The album was recorded at Sonic Ranch in April 2016. Brandi Carlile joins in on the vocals of "Good with God".A review in Mother Jones Magazine ends with this summation of the album: "Graveyard Whistling will make you feel more alive and more aware of your inexorable mortality at once."

Jack Szwergold

Jack Szwergold is a comedy writer and the Webby-Award-winning first webmaster for the news parody publication The Onion.

Szwergold convinced The Onion Editor and Publisher Scott Dikkers that a Web site would increase readership, and The Onion's site launched in May 1996. The site has won multiple Webby Awards and other industry and media accolades.[1]

In January 2001 Jack Szwergold left The Onion and returned to Brooklyn, NY, where he currently resides and juggles a career working as a web developer and as a writer. In addition to his work for The Onion, Jack has written for Nickelodeon (TV channel), National Public Radio, Modern Humorist,, Wired magazine, Mother Jones magazine, and Green Magazine.

Kevin Drum

Kevin Drum (born October 19, 1958) is an American political blogger and columnist. He was born in Long Beach, California and now lives in Irvine, California.

Drum rose to prominence through the popularity of his now-defunct independent liberal blog Calpundit (2003–2004), and through his blog Political Animal (2004–2008), published by the Washington Monthly. In 2008, he took a writing and blogging position at Mother Jones magazine.

Kresge College

Kresge College is one of the residential colleges that make up the University of California, Santa Cruz. Founded in 1971, Kresge is located on the western edge of the UCSC campus. Kresge is the sixth of ten colleges at UCSC, and originally one of the most experimental. The first provost of Kresge, Bob Edgar, had been strongly influenced by his experience in T-groups run by NTL Institute. He asked a T-group facilitator, psychologist Michael Kahn, to help him start the college. When they arrived at UCSC, they taught a course, Creating Kresge College, in which they and the students in it designed the college. Kresge was a participatory democracy, and students had extraordinary power in the early years.[1] The college was run by two committees: Community Affairs and Academic Affairs. Any faculty member, student or staff member who wanted to be on these committees could be on them. Students' votes counted as much as the faculty or staff. These committees determined the budgets and hiring. They were also run by consensus. Distinguished early faculty members included Gregory Bateson, former husband of Margaret Mead and author of Steps to an Ecology of Mind; Phil Slater, author of The Pursuit of Loneliness; John Grinder, co-founder of Neuro-linguistic programming and co-author of The Structure of Magic; and William Everson, one of the Beat poets.

Distinguished graduates from the early days of Kresge College include Doug Foster, who went on to become editor of Mother Jones magazine, and Richard Bandler, who co-founded Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) with John Grinder.

Michael Scherer

Michael Scherer is an award-winning American journalist. He is currently a national political reporter for The Washington Post, covering the White House and Congress.

Mother Jones

Mother Jones may refer to:

Mary Harris Jones (called "Mother Jones", 1837–1930), American labor and community organizer

Mother Jones (magazine), progressive American news magazine

Richard Parker (economist)

Richard Parker (born November 5, 1946) is an economist from the United States. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Oxford, and has worked for the United Nations Development Programme. Parker co-founded Mother Jones magazine and is on the editorial board of The Nation. He wrote the books The Myth of the Middle Class, Mixed Signals: the Future of Global Television News, and John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics.Parker has held Marshall, Rockefeller, Danforth, Goldsmith, and Bank of America fellowships; and is lecturer in public policy and senior fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches courses on modern macroeconomic policy, as well as on the role of religion in American politics and public policy.

In June 2008, Parker was elected the 26th President of the liberal political advocacy group Americans for Democratic Action.

Sabrina Erdely

Sabrina Rubin Erdely is a journalist and American magazine reporter who became known in 2014 as the author of a discredited article in Rolling Stone describing the alleged rape of a University of Virginia student by several fraternity members. The story, titled "A Rape on Campus", was later found to be unsupported by evidence. The magazine retracted the article following a Columbia University School of Journalism review which concluded that Erdely and Rolling Stone failed to engage in "basic, even routine journalistic practice". As a result, Erdely was named in three lawsuits with demands of more than $32 million combined for damages resulting from the publication of the story.A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Erdely has written about rape and bullying. Prior to the Rolling Stone article, her work appeared in GQ, Self, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, Glamour, Men's Health and Philadelphia.In November 2016, a federal court jury found Erdely was liable for defamation with actual malice in a lawsuit brought by University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo, and Erdely was found personally responsible for $2 million in damages.

Shane Bauer

Shane Bauer is an American journalist, best known for his undercover reporting for Mother Jones magazine. He has won the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the 2017 Michael Kelly Award.

Shirwa Ahmed

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Tim Dickinson

Tim Dickinson is an American political correspondent. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. His article "Machinery of Hope" about U.S. president Barack Obama's 2008 political campaign was anthologized in The Best American Political Writing 2008 (Public Affairs). His other work includes six years as an editor of Mother Jones magazine, and as a writer for Outside, Wired, and local San Francisco magazines.

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