The Mother Jones Press Room

Mother Jones Has Decisive Impact, Sees Record Growth in 2012 [VIDEO]

Thu Dec. 27, 2012
Jacques Hebert
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2012 was a landmark year for nonprofit magazine Mother Jones. In its 37th year of publication, the magazine broke "one of the important campaign stories of the year" with DC bureau chief David Corn's reporting of the Romney "47" percent" fundraiser story. After publication, the video quickly went viral, generated media coverage worldwide, took social media by storm, and sent shockwaves throughout the campaign. As a result of our 47 percent coverage witnessed the single largest daily spike in web traffic in its history, including substantial gains on social platforms, garnering over 14,000 new Twitter followers and 12,000 additional Facebook fans. The 47 percent package has received over 9 million cumulative pageviews, with people watching more than 25 years worth of the 47 percent video. Many media outlets, including Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog, reported that it had a significant impact on the outcome of the election. Check out this behind-the-scenes video for insight on how the 47 percent scoop came about:

Beyond the 47 percent scoop, Mother Jones experienced a record-breaking year of growth in 2012 across all its content. Web traffic continued to grow with pageviews increasing 28 percent compared to 2011. Mobile traffic continued its meteoric rise, more than doubling since 2011 and increasing 2970 percent since 2009. Unique visitors to also grew 22 percent over the last year, up 150 percent since 2010. This growth was mirrored in digital advertising with digital ad revenue up 35 percent in 2012, showcasing how more advertisers are building trust in their brands by connecting with Mother Jones readers. In the wake of the 47 percent scoop, Mother Jones, a nonprofit, received record donations from countless individuals and organizations showing their support for independent journalism. Mother Jones, which has always sought to innovate how to reach new audiences, experienced significant gains across social platforms with Facebook fans increasing 77 percent since last year and Twitter followers more than doubling in 2012. "Mother Jones' tremendous growth and success in 2012 are a direct result of our ability to satisfy the large appetite that exists for cutting-edge, investigative, independent journalism," says CEO Madeleine Buckingham.    

Co-editor Clara Jeffery notes, "More than many people realize, we're doing this kind of great reporting all the time." A small sampling of 2012 highlights include Tom Philpott's reporting on the truth behind our food and agricultural industries, including his industry-shaking coverage of "pink slime" in our meat. Andy Kroll continued the steady drumbeat of reporting on dark money, exposing the influence of special interests in our electoral process. Mother Jones also shed light on the tragic realities of gun violence in the face of increased mass shootings in the United States, including its Guide to Mass Shootings in Americadata-rich reporting on the increase in gun possession and mass shootings, and interactives on the deregulation of gun laws. Mother Jones employed its popular "explainer" real-time reporting format to keep its readers informed on complex stories ranging from the Trayvon Martin shooting to the General Petraeus affair. Other highlights include former Iranian hostage Shane Bauer's in-depth report on the "living death" of solitary confinement in the American prison system and interactives such as the satirical "Are You a Slut?" flowchart and the voter suppression map. Mother Jones continues to lead on climate change reporting, covering everything from the aftermath of the BP oil spill to the toxicity of mining rare earths for our technology to on-the-ground coverage of Hurricane Sandy through the Climate Desk, which the Guardian joined in 2012. Mother Jones also announced a partnership with the Magnum Foundation, bringing stunning photo journalism of Coptic Christians in Egypt, revolution-torn Libya, and of Burmese refugees to Mother Jones readers. 

Adding to the already momentous year for the magazine, Mother Jones was recognized with nearly 20 award nominations and wins, including the prestigious International Data Journalism Award in recognition of outstanding data work in its "Terrorists for the FBI" project. In continuing to focus on investigative journalism, interactive reporting, and coverage that is smart, fearless, and has an impact, 2013 is poised to be an equally momentous year for the magazine.    

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