Mother Jones Wins “Best Picture Award for the Magazine Industry”

If ever there was a moment for “Wow. Just wow.”

Mother Jones staffers celebrate after winning the 2017 Magazine of the Year award. Mother Jones

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The past year was pretty incredible for Mother Jones—from publishing a massive investigation on private prisons to breaking the story of a veteran spy’s allegations that Russia had sought to compromise Donald Trump, to launching a new model for investigative reporting on a foundation of reader support. Today, those breakthroughs and more were honored with the most prestigious award in the magazine industry, the 2017 Magazine of the Year award from the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). MoJo also took home the award for Best Reporting for Shane Bauer’s “My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard,” and we were a finalist in the General Excellence category.

This was the first year Mother Jones was nominated for Magazine of the Year—our industry’s equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar—alongside The New Yorker, New York, Cosmopolitan, and California Sunday. Judges recognized our work on the most important political stories of the year, including Trump’s conflicts of interest, his ties to white nationalism, and the Russia memos, along with myriad investigative and immersive narratives, dramatically increased traffic and visibility, and a widely acclaimed redesign of our website and print magazine.

“Holy shit,” as our editor-in-chief, Clara Jeffery, put it in accepting the award, adding that she was “super proud of our entire team.” The recognition comes at an especially important time, she said, when “the media is under attack. Whether we are magazines that specialize in news and politics, or whether we are magazines that delight and distract, we are going to need both. I really hope we all stick together in the time to come.”

(Needless to say, at MoJo we plan to double down against attacks on freedom of the press and democracy as a whole. If you’d like to help support unrelenting investigative reporting, subscribe here or donate here.) And if you already do—or if you’re part of the MoJo community in other ways, as a frequent reader, sharer, or cheerleader, or as someone who uses our journalism to change the world: THANK YOU. MoJo is unique because we rely on users, not advertisers or deep-pocketed interests, to make our work possible. This award belongs to you.

Here’s what it looked like when Clara and the MoJo delegation learned the news at the awards ceremony:

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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