Mother Jones (abbreviated MoJo) is a progressive American magazine that focuses on news, commentary, and investigative reporting on topics including politics, the environment, human rights, and culture. Clara Jeffery serves as editor. Steve Katz has been publisher since 2010. Monika Bauerlein has been CEO since 2015.[2][3][4] Mother Jones is published by The Foundation for National Progress.[5]

The magazine was named after Mary Harris Jones, known as Mother Jones, an Irish-American trade union activist and ardent opponent of child labor.[6]


For the first five years after its inception in 1976,[5] 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."[7]

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[8] — a view supported by The Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn, but denied by Hochschild and others at the magazine.[9][10]

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.[11] 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,[12] but settled with the magazine’s insurance company for $58,000[13]—$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),[14] and the role of religion in politics (December 2005).[15]

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)[16] 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),[17] and the magazine's massive Iraq War Timeline interactive database.[18]

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,[clarification needed] and blog commentary on MotherJones.com. The cover of their first issue (November 2006) asked: "Evolve or Die: Can humans get past denial and deal with global warming?"[19][20] In 2015, Bauerlein became CEO and Jeffery became sole editor in chief.[4]

David Corn, a political journalist and former Washington editor for The Nation, is bureau chief of the magazine's newly established D.C. bureau.[21] 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).[22]

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.[23]

In August 2013, Mother Jones' co-editors Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery won the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing.[24] Also in 2010, Mother Jones won the Online News Association Award for Online Topical Reporting,[25] and in 2011 won the Utne Reader Independent Press Award for General Excellence.[26]

In 2017, Mother Jones won the Magazine of the Year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors.[27]


In addition to stories from the print magazine, MotherJones.com offers original reported content seven days a week. During the 2008 presidential election campaign, MotherJones.com 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.[28] As an unnamed fellow journalist predicted to Corn at the time,[28] the comment was then taken out of context to attack McCain, omitting his contextualizing comparisons, in political speeches by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others and in an edited video clip as the center of a Democratic National Committee ad, all suggesting that he meant he was unconcerned about the possibility of endless war.[29][30] Also in 2008, MotherJones.com was the first outlet to report on Beckett Brown International, a security firm that spied on environmental groups for corporations.[31]

Winner of the 2005 and 2006 "People’s Choice" Webby Award for politics,[32] MotherJones.com 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.[33] 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. MotherJones.com (then known as the MoJo Wire) listed the donors in a searchable database.

In the 2006 election, MotherJones.com was the first to break stories on the use of robocalling,[34] a story that TPM Muckraker and The New York Times picked up. The Iraq War Timeline interactive database,[18] a continually updated interactive online project, was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2006.[35]

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.[36]

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.


  1. ^ "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  2. ^ "Here Are The 5 Most Liberal And Conservative Media Twitter Feeds". Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  3. ^ "Mother Jones Lures David Corn From The Nation". 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Mother Jones names Monika Bauerlein Chief Executive Officer; Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2015-05-16. 
  5. ^ a b Mother Jones Magazine. Mother Jones. November 1992. p. 3. ISSN 0362-8841. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-12. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  7. ^ Hochschild, Adam. "The History of Mother Jones". Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ Schultz, Emily (2005). Michael Moore: a biorgraphy. 47–54: ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-699-1. 
  9. ^ Cockburn, Alexander (September 13, 1986). "Beat the Devil". The Nation. New York, New York: The Nation Company L.P.: 198. ISSN 0027-8378. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Matt Labash. Michael Moore, One-Trick Phony. The Weekly Standard. June 8, 1998.
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ DiMare, Philip C. (2011-06-17). Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia [3 volumes]: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598842975. 
  14. ^ "Domestic Violence: A Special Report". Mother Jones. July 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  15. ^ "Contents". Mother Jones. December 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  16. ^ "As The World Burns". Mother Jones. May 2005. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ "The Last Days of the Ocean". Mother Jones. March 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  18. ^ a b "Lie By Lie". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Mother Jones November/December 2006 Issue". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Editors' Note". Mother Jones. November–December 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2008. 
  21. ^ "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. 
  22. ^ "National Magazine Awards searchable database". Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  23. ^ Maley, David (7 March 2013). "Mother Jones Wins Izzy Award for Independent Media". Ithaca College. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "2013 PEN/Nora Magid Award PEN America". pen.org. Retrieved 2016-09-10. 
  25. ^ "2010 Awards". Online News Association. 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Mother Jones Wins Izzy Award for Independent Media". Utne Reader. 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Mother Jones wins the highest honor in the magazine industry". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2017-02-09. 
  28. ^ a b 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. 
  29. ^ Krauthammer, Charles (28 March 2008). "McCain Wants 100 Years of War?". The National Review. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  30. ^ Kirchick, James (29 April 2008). "From Harry Truman To Howard Dean". The New Republic. Retrieved 6 March 2018. 
  31. ^ "Exclusive: Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups". Mother Jones. April 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Richard R. Lingeman (2008). The Nation Guide to the Nation. Vintage Books. pp. 121–. ISBN 978-0-307-38728-8. 
  34. ^ "Tales of a Push Pollster". Mother Jones. October 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 
  35. ^ "Mother Jones: MPA". Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  36. ^ "The Lady Killers (2004)". imdb.com. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 

External links