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This is not about our fundraising. We are not asking you to support Mother Jones today. The two of us do that often, and it’s important, but we also want to start doing more to keep you posted on what’s going on behind the scenes.

A lot of you have told us you appreciate our emails about how media works and doesn’t work, and when we flag our in-depth reporting projects that can be easily drowned out by all the noise in the news. And let’s be real: Building trust and a direct connection with readers is essential for newsrooms to weather the brutal economics of our industry.

So think of this as a monthly’ish member update, to share what we’re excited about or think is worth your attention when you a moment to spare. As always, we’d love to hear what you think and how we can better serve you: Our inbox is open 24/7. Let’s dive in!

A Special Issue on Climate

We don’t often dedicate an entire issue of our print magazine (and almost a year of work for our newsroom) to a specific reporting project, but climate transformation is not just any other story. So across seven pieces in our May+June magazine, we dug deep into decarbonization and what it will actually take to make the colossal shift from a fossil fuel economy to one based on renewable energy—and the special online package includes even more great reporting from our Climate Desk partners around the world.

The cover story is from peerless writer Bill McKibben, who first called attention to the climate crisis in the 1980s. In “Yes in Our Backyards,” he shares how he learned to love development projects—for the green economy. Change isn’t easy for anyone, and is full of nuance, so he provides a four-point framework that has helped him figure out when to say YES to certain projects—even if our first reaction might be NO. It’s a powerful, paradigm-shifting, must-read essay that is really having an impact out there.

“An incredible piece and legitimately groundbreaking shift for the climate left, one desperately needed…” tweeted Elan Sykes, an energy policy analyst with the Public Policy Institute, when the article went up online. Senator Bryan Schatz, of Hawaii, said simply, “Damn, this is so good.” And looking at the rest of the decarbonization package, a reader in New Orleans thanked us for “a much-needed, holistic update of how we should fight the climate crisis.” So here are the other main features that were part of this sweeping climate transformation project:

We hope you’ll make time to dig into this great package sometime soon.

And we’ll add: It is only because we answer to readers who want, and support, in-depth journalism that we’re able to dedicate an entire issue of our magazine, and even more online firepower, to advancing the national conversation about what it actually takes to decarbonize, and what stands in the way of the transformation to a greener future. Like editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery writes introducing the package, “Challenging assumptions is part of Mother Jones’ role, and I believe that we’re uniquely positioned to speak truth to friends, as well as to power.”

Monitoring Media

The last couple weeks have been tough for journalism. Buzzfeed’s news division stopped publishing, and there were reports that Vice Media appears headed for bankruptcy—after being valued at $5.7 billion just six years ago. That was shortly after Mother Jones published “Pop Goes the Digital Media Bubble,” warning that the froth about online advertising as the answer to journalism’s woes was about to fizzle.

A lot of great journalists got paid and a lot of great journalism was made as part of that bubble, and that’s good. But the fantasy of viral news also delayed the inevitable reckoning with the fact that quality news is a public good like schools, museums, and libraries—and the market can’t solve for that.

Monika has a bit more on this on Twitter, and the takeaway is this: People, institutions, and investors who care about an informed public can turn this around. But we need to stop chasing after shiny objects or waiting for someone to invent the next thing. We need to invest in the solid ideas already here. Which is what so many of you reading this are doing. We’re so damn grateful to have a 47-year track record of being supported by our community of readers, whether by donations, helping us reach new folks, or your steadfast readership. Thank you.

We’ll save our thoughts on Twitter and Tucker for another day.

The Good News

Let’s finish with some good news! We have plenty of that, because our team has been racking up some serious hardware when it comes to awards. It’s wonderful to be recognized for our work, being a scrappy nonprofit that punches above our weight (and budget) and competes with the biggest national outlets. And there are even more awards of late than can realistically fit here:

  • Just this week, Ruth Murai won the Asian American Journalists Association award for feature writing, for her personal, riveting piece, “My Family Lost Our Farm During Japanese Incarceration. I Went Searching for What Remains.”
  • Kathryn Joyce, Nathan Rosenberg, and Bryce Stucki were honored by the National Association of Black Journalists for their deeply-reported and immensely-eye-opening feature, “The ‘Machine That Eats Up Black Farmland.'”
  • The Oscar for our industry is the American Society of Magazine Editors annual awards, and MoJo’s Samantha Michaels and Mark Helenowski took home top honors last month in the video category for a powerful, heart-wrenching documentary as part of our deep dive into so-called “failure to protect” laws. Watch it here
  • Samantha’s big investigation was also recognized with the John Bartlow Martin Award from Northwestern’ Medill School of Journalism, which goes to just one magazine article in the nation each year.
  • The team of Noah Lanard, Stephanie Mencimer, Tim Murphy, and Ari Berman took home silver from the Anthem Awards (from the Webby’s, for mission-driven work) for their collective reporting on the Big Lie and election-deniers. Here’s Noah’s, Stephanie’s, Ari’s, and two stories from Tim that were honored. (The winner of gold in this category? None other than Samantha Michaels!)
  • MoJo and our friends at the Center for Investigative Reporting took home top honors from the Overseas Press Club for our feature “The Bitter Work Behind Sugar.”
  • And photo editor Mark Murrmann won both gold and silver awards from the Society of Publication Designers for curating two of the amazing photo essays that are a big part of MoJo’s visual journalism: “See Myanmar’s Crisis Through the Eyes of the Photographers Risking Their Lives to Bear Witness,” and “It’s Not the Other America. It’s Just America.

Kudos to all the editors, fact-checkers, and business professionals who helped bring these award-winning stories to life—and to our entire community of readers for valuing and helping us do journalism that matters. It truly is a team effort. You have our permission to claim these awards as part of the MoJo community.

Your Wins?

And speaking of the Mother Jones community, perhaps YOU have a win to share about people power making change on an issue we write about from your community or from your advocacy? Maybe a personal story about how Mother Jones has changed the way to see something, or inspired you to do something different?

As we experiment with ways to better connect with you around our journalism and how we’re fighting for change together, we’d love to spotlight some of your stories in updates like this in the future (only with your permission, of course). Share your wins by filling out the form below!

We’re grateful for the time today, and hope this quick update helps you follow our big stories and know how vital you are to everything we do. 

GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

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GREAT JOURNALISM, SLOW FUNDRAISING

Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

Yet, we just came up pretty short on our first big fundraising campaign since Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting joined forces.

So, two things:

1) If you value the journalism we do but haven’t pitched in over the last few months, please consider doing so now—we urgently need a lot of help to make up for lost ground.

2) If you’re not ready to donate but you’re interested enough in our work to be reading this, please consider signing up for our free Mother Jones Daily newsletter to get to know us and our reporting better. Maybe once you do, you’ll see it’s something worth supporting.

payment methods

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