Mother Jones is celebrating one of the most successful quarters in the magazine's 35-year history. From record-breaking traffic on MotherJones.com to a spree of industry awards and nominations, MoJo launched 2011 on a decidedly triumphant note.
During 2011's first quarter, MotherJones.com hosted unprecedentedly high traffic: more than 6.3 million unique visitors (a 192 percent increase over Q1 2010) and more than 16.8 million pageviews (up 97 percent from Q1 2010). Much of this traffic was driven by a succession of breaking news articles and high-profile commentaries, among which included:
- Reporter Andy Kroll's eyewitness dispatches from the Wisconsin union protests.
- A series of acclaimed "Explainer" articles distilling the turmoil in Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen.
- Adam Weinstein's exposé of Indiana's disgraced deputy attorney general, as well as the first national media interview with Gov. Scott Walker's infamous prank caller.
- Team coverage of the GOP's assault on reproductive rights, including the federal defunding of women's health services and multiple state proposals to redefine rape, criminalize miscarriages, and legalize the killing of abortion providers.
- "Plutocracy Now," Kevin Drum's probe of income inequality in America, which inspired a much-buzzed-about graphic later featured on Yahoo and The Colbert Report.
"Mother Jones is not only keeping up with the 24/7 news cycle, our reporters are shaping it,” publisher Steven Katz said in response to the digital audience growth, a statement dramatized by the magazine's social media explosion. During Q1 2011, Mother Jones' Facebook profile drew more than 1.3 million visits, a 977 percent leap over Q1 2010. Similar growth played out on the magazine's Twitter feed, where traffic jumped 300 percent in Q1 2011 (compared with Q1 2010), as well as on its recently created Tumblr, whose audience has grown more than 600 percent since January. The result: 22 percent of MotherJones.com's traffic came from social media sites, nearly double the amount in the same period last year.
High traffic and media exposure arrived along with industry laurels. In March, Mother Jones was nominated for seven Maggie Awards from the Western Publishing Association, which honors media based in the western United States that advance the publishing industry. Winners will be announced in Los Angeles on April 29.
In addition, the magazine was honored in early April with two Aveda Environmental Awards from Aveda and Green America. Established in 2005, the awards recognize publications with exemplary achievement in printing practices, distribution, and overall environmental commitment. Mother Jones won in the Best Paper/Printing and Best Overall Commitment categories, further solidifying its brand as a touchstone of green journalism.
More recently, reporter Mac McClelland's "For Us Surrender is out of the Question" (April/May 2010) was nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Best Feature Writing category. Award winners will be announced in New York City on May 9.
These successes confirmed Mother Jones as a desirable venue for advertisers, resulting in an 85 percent increase in digital ad revenue in Q1 2011 (compared with Q1 2010). "High traffic has always been a priority for advertisers," said Khary Brown, integrated advertising director, "but more and more organizations simply want to play a part in what's happening here. Mother Jones is on a hot streak, which is beneficial to us, of course, but is also a boon for our sponsors."
Co-edited by Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery since 2006, Mother Jones earned more than 26 awards for investigative reporting, photojournalism, and illustration in 2010. These included the 2010 National Magazine Award for General Excellence (the "Oscars" of the magazine trade) and the Online News Association's (ONA) 2010 Online Topical Reporting award for team coverage of the BP oil spill. Mother Jones was the only magazine with a print edition to take home an ONA award. Mother Jones is published by the nonprofit Foundation for National Progress.