Should Journalists Call It Like They See It?


The Economist‘s anonymous Democracy in America blogger says journalists should make sure to call the show trials of opposition figures in Iran what they are: show trials.

That point goes to a key advantage that opinionated newsmagazines enjoy: magazine journalists are more likely to call ’em how they sees ’em. Instead of offering readers phony evenhandedness, a magazine writer will generally give you a position on a story (markets are awesome!) and trust her readers to be smart enough to know the difference between fact and opinion. And since they’re not used to “opinions on the shape of the earth differ” journalism, magazines don’t fall into the trap of turning everything into a he-said she-said cable news argument as often as newspapers do.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

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