For a while now, we’ve been writing to our community of readers about the unprecedented threats that investigative journalism faces. Between political assaults and economic erosion, it’s been a pretty grim year for the news business.
But there’s also been something deeply inspiring about 2017. This year has been a reminder that power is not the exclusive property of politicians: Record numbers of people have started citizen groups, run for office, found individual acts of courage and resistance.
And record numbers have looked to journalism as a key part of democracy. No one more so than the community of MoJo readers, who have pitched in to help us put more reporters on the beat and give them the time to go deep. I could go on and on (and truth be told, I have!) about how critical that kind of reader support is for investigative journalism to survive.
But as we head into a holiday weekend, I wanted to turn the megaphone over to you. Lately we’ve been asking readers why they support Mother Jones when they can get the news for free, and why others should join them with a tax-deductible, year-end gift. We got an overwhelming number of responses; here are just a few.
“We need the whistles blown. We need the corruptions uncovered. We need the secrets aired, exposed, and we need a place for that. Independent publications are that place.”
“As I read the truth, I feel a bit of relief and satisfaction knowing that I am helping to make it happen.”
“Deep investigative journalism has the capacity to lead, hold power to account, expose problems, and build support for genuine and effective change. But it also takes time and skill and costs money. If that’s a thing I want to have in the world, I need to do my bit to contribute to it.”
“MJ is feisty—it takes its mission of afflicting the comfortable seriously.”
“There is so much misleading and inaccurate information flooding the media, so I highly value a news source I can trust. Many days I feel overwhelmed and stressed by the national situation, but it helps me to know that the Mother Jones community is committed to be part of the solution, not the problem.”
“The task of extracting actual news from the massive BS that surrounds everything political is never-ending.”
“Mother Jones and other news reporting organizations that are not controlled by big time advertising and powerful individuals are the crux of our democracy and truth in politics.”
“I must strive to ensure the legacy of rights is delivered intact to the world of my new granddaughter, Elizabeth. I believe that MoJo fights for both of us. For all of us…”
“After a lengthy career in the federal government, in this period of fake news I read with a hypercritical eye. Mother Jones has never set off my alarms. I do my small part in keeping the MoJo alive. Freedom is not free.”
“Why should you pay? For the same reason that you wouldn’t consume junk food over real food, if resources allow you to. I’m happy to support real journalism. There is a difference.”
“Professional, independent journalism is the conscience of our society.”
“The other day I went onto LinkedIn. Right away I got blasted by an ‘article’ smearing people [on Obamacare]. The post was a rant condemning those disabled among us. I have a disability most people would hide under bed to avoid. This vulgar and bully pulpit opining on social media is mistaken for informed discourse every day. We need vetted REAL journalism like Mother Jones.”
“When your news source is profit-driven and dependent on quarterly growth, it loses independence because, no matter what, the bottom line wins out.”
Every time I re-read these comments, I’m blown away. It’s such an honor and privilege to have readers like you—and it’s the only reason MoJo has been able to do what we do for 41 years.
So whether or not you’re able to pitch in during our December pledge drive, I’m hoping you can share your thoughts too. Do you think independent journalism matters? Why?
Hearing from you will help us make the case for more people to join the community of MoJo donors. We’d love to share them—anonymously, of course—to inspire other readers, and staff. By providing your email, you agree to let us contact you about your feedback. We respect your privacy and will not use your email address for any other purpose.