Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery

Editor in Chief

Since taking the editorial helm at Mother Jones in late 2006, Clara and her co-editor, Monika Bauerlein, have won two National Magazine Awards for general excellence, relaunched MotherJones.com, founded a now 13-person Washington bureau, won a PEN award for editing, given birth, and forgotten what it's like to sleep. It probably doesn't help she's on Twitter so much.

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Clara Jeffery is co-editor of Mother Jones, where, together with Monika Bauerlein, she has spearheaded an era of editorial growth and innovation, marked by the addition of now 13-person Washington bureau, an overhaul of the organization's digital strategy and a corresponding 15-fold growth in traffic, and the winning of two National Magazine Awards for general excellence. When Jeffery and Bauerlein received a PEN award for editing in 2012, the judges noted: “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. Before joining the staff of Mother Jones, Jeffery was a senior editor of Harper's magazine. Fourteen pieces that she personally edited have been finalists for National Magazine Awards, in the categories of essay, profile, reporting, public interest, feature, and fiction. Works she edited have also been selected to appear in various editions of Best American Essays, Best American Travel Writing, Best American Sports Writing, and Best American Science Writing. Clara cut her journalistic teeth at Washington City Paper, where she wrote and edited political, investigative, and narrative features, and was a columnist. Jeffery is a graduate of Carleton College and Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. She resides in the Mission District of San Francisco with her partner Chris Baum and their son, Milo. Their burrito joint of choice is El Metate.

 

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Who You Calling a Print Magazine? MoJo Wins Online News Association Award

| Sun Oct. 31, 2010 12:32 AM PDT

Just in case the grins on the faces of reporter Kate Sheppard and news editor Dan Schulman don't tell you everything you need to know—yes, we are  honored and proud today to have won the Online News Association award for Online Topical Reporting/Blogging for our team coverage of the BP spill. For much of the summer, Mother Jones actually had more reporters covering the disaster than most dailies or TV news operations around the country: Our human-rights reporter Mac McClelland was on the scene for four months while Kate in Washington kept up the heat on agencies and politicians, and environmental correspondent Julia Whitty explored the stunning new science that shows the true impact of BP. It was an amazing endeavor, involving literally everyone at MoJo at one point or another and drawing on major effort from many (reporters, editors, factcheckers, tech crew—you know who you are). You can read the results here.

Fun fact: As far as we can tell, Mother Jones was the only magazine (that doesn't publish exclusively online, a la Salon) honored at the ONA awards last night; the event has long been dominated by daily newspapers, broadcasters, and online-exclusive news sites, which makes sense given that much of the magazine industry has not exactly stampeded into digital news. Here at MoJo, though, we pretty much tore down the distinction between print and digital several years ago, and now aim to bring you sharp, sassy investigative reporting 24/7 via the Interwebs as well as in our award-winning print magazine (you do take advantage of our dead cheap subscriptions, right?). So hooray for an award confirming that that's working out okay—and an extra hooray for all the other great journalism shops honored last night, including our fellow nonprofits at NPR, ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and California Watch. (Bonus hooray for these last two, fellow Bay Area operations. Now back to the World Series already in progress.) 

Attack of the 50-Foot Palin

| Mon Oct. 25, 2010 3:00 AM PDT

It's not that there aren't enough clues on the cover of the new issue of Mother Jones—the headline, for one—but since you asked: Yes, that is a full-throated homage to the B movie classic Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. If you're like us, your knowledge of American cinema doesn't extend to the full plot of this 1958 gem, but suffice to say that it involves a wealthy heiress, Nancy Archer, who after an encounter with an alien is found on the roof of her pool house and soon grows into a giantess. She goes searching for her no-good husband and his mistress, Honey Parker (!), and mayhem ensues. We liked the image because of the subtle historical echoes and... oh, who are we kidding: We liked it because the poster is awesome. WikimediaWikimedia(The echoes, though, are there: 1958 was an election year, in a recession, that dealt President Eisenhower's party a big string of defeats and launched the Senate careers of, among others, Gene McCarthy, Robert Byrd, and Edmund Muskie.) 

MoJo's creative director Tim Luddy encouraged illustrator Zina Saunders to follow the poster out the window in tone and feel, tweaking only the landscape to look more suburban. Saunders (who has cranked out a number of terrific Palin illustrations in the last couple of years) took the assignment very seriously, at one point sending a picture of Palin in her beauty-contestant days to confirm that she'd gotten the proportions right. She also made an animated version. Behold (this might take a sec to load):

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