The Mother Jones Press Room

Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery Awarded PEN American Center Award for Transforming Mother Jones Into “Powerhouse” Publication

Date: 
Wed Aug. 14, 2013
Contact: 
press@motherjones.com
Phone Number: 
415/321-1724

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           

San Francisco (August 14, 2013)—Today, the PEN American Center announced Mother Jones magazine’s co-editors, Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery, as the winners of the PEN/Nora Magid Award for excellence in magazine editing.

The biennial award recognizes magazine editors who have made significant contributions to the excellence of the publication they edit. Write this year’s judges: “With its sharp, compelling blend of investigative long-form journalism, eye-catching infographics and unapologetically confident voice, Mother Jones under Jeffery and Bauerlein has been transformed from what was a respected—if under-the-radar—indie publication to an internationally recognized, powerhouse general-interest periodical influencing everything from the gun-control debate to presidential campaigns. In addition to their success on the print side, Jeffery and Bauerlein’s relentless attention to detail, boundless curiosity and embrace of complex subjects are also reflected on the magazine’s increasingly influential website, whose writers and reporters often put more well-known and deep-pocketed news divisions to shame. Clara Jeffery and Monika Bauerlein have taken the tagline of Mother Jones—“Smart, fearless journalism”—and made it not only a mission statement but a challenge, a challenge that any editor or writer committed to scrupulous reporting and compelling storytelling could do well to learn from.”

Bauerlein and Jeffery’s tenure as co-editors has netted Mother Jones three National Magazine Awards, the Oscars of the industry. Since taking the helm of Mother Jones seven years ago, they have transformed a bimonthly print magazine reaching a quarter million subscribers a month to a 24/7 news operation reaching millions. Early adapters to a changing media landscape, Bauerlein and Jeffery jumped on trends and technology that are transforming news, building out a 15-person political reporting team in DC while other news outlets were winnowing their bureaus, and extending the magazine’s commitment to long-form investigative journalism. As a result of these initiatives, MotherJones.com has seen a threefold increase in traffic in just three years.

“We’re incredibly grateful for this tremendous honor,” said Bauerlein and Jeffery. “Each day our high standards for unimpeachable journalism on a shoestring are met by the hardest-working and most talented staff in the industry, from our reporters and editors to a business-side crew that matches our ambition with every step.”

The PEN/Nora Magid award is the latest in a string of honors for the outlet. Mother Jones has been nominated for nearly 40 top industry awards in the past year, with 20 notable wins thus far, including a National Magazine Award for Washington Bureau Chief David Corn’s 47 percent story during the 2012 election; a Society of Professional Journalists award for its landmark gun coverage; and public-service honors named for labor leader Sidney Hillman and legendary muckraker I.F. Stone. MoJo was one of the few print magazines lauded at the Online News Association awards in 2010, and last year Mother Jones received the inaugural international Data Journalism Award sponsored by Google for its groundbreaking interactive coverage of FBI informants within Muslim communities.

Bauerlein and Jeffery will accept their award at the PEN Literary Awards Ceremony held in New York City on October 21. Read today’s announcement of the award from the PEN American Center here. For more information, or to set up an interview with a Mother Jones spokesperson, please contact Jacques Hebert at 415-321-1724 or press@motherjones.com.