Mother Jones Nominated for Two National Magazine Awards


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Yesterday, we got the exciting news that Mother Jones has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards.

The NMAs are like our industry’s Academy Awards. On May 1st, editors from all over the country gather in New York (totally coincidentally, where most editors live), get dressed up, go to Jazz at Lincoln Center, fix gracious smiles on our faces, and wait to see if we win an Ellie (a replica of an Alexander Calder sculpture of an elephant—i.e. our Oscar—that could double as a rather stylish weapon).

This year we’ve been nominated for General Excellence (think Best Picture, the word “coveted” is often applied) for these three issues. We’re up against four other great, all very different, magazines in our circ size: Radar, Philadelphia Magazine, Foreign Policy, and Paste.

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My friend and former MoJoer John Cook emailed to joke: “We’re gonna totally kick your ass! MoJo and Foreign Policy will split the ‘stuff people should care about’ vote leaving Radar to sweep….” But I would never count Radar out (it’s so cheeky!), and then there’s Paste, which I give to about 40 friends for Christmas each year (d’oh!), and Foreign Policy and Philadelphia, like us, perennial contenders that are just as good as ever. (FP won last year.)

The other nomination is for photojournalism. Specifically this awesome photo essay by Lana Šlezić on the plight of the women of Afghanistan. In this category, we’re up against The New Yorker, National Geographic, Aperture, and Virginia Quarterly Review, which is edited by our MoJo contributing writer Ted Genoways, who just happened to write the text for our last photo essay. So we’ll try to be extra gracious if he wins.

These nominations are a nice nod to all the hard work put in by staff over the past year, one in which we overhauled the magazine and the site (tho’ more to come) and added a seven-person Washington bureau. Monika and I are really grateful to be working with such cool, hardworking, and amazingly (esp. given what we’ve put ’em through) sane people. So thanks to them, and we hope the rest of you keep reading.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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