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We’ll keep this short. It takes a lot of things to do investigative journalism, but none of them are worth a damn without you, our readers. Your support is our biggest source of revenue—we’re like public radio that way, only we can’t hold your programming hostage until you pitch in. And yet many of you do pitch in, giving $5, $10, whatever you can. You understand that at a time when our political system seems dominated by behind-the-scenes dealmaking, we need independent reporting to keep democracy alive. And you understand that such muckraking never has paid for itself, and certainly doesn’t now at a time of media and economic crisis. You, and a lot of frugal budgeting, kept us going through a year when other publications fired reporters left and right, or just shut down altogether. But the year is not over yet, and we haven’t been able to quite close the shortfall left by the implosion of advertising and other commercial revenue. Your help will allow us to keep going in 2010—and we promise we’ll put it to good use, especially in keeping tabs on those who got all of us into this mess to start with. It’s easy—you can give any amount that works for you, in seconds, via credit card or PayPal. Thank you. 

And if you’re not yet convinced that you, our readers, are amazing, consider this letter we got a few days ago. 

I’m sorry that I am only managing to donate $5, at this time. My Husband and I work for Ford, we build the Mustang.  We just returned from a 3 week layoff, it was to readjust inventory.  In 2 weeks we will be laid off again, in fact 14 weeks are scheduled for 2010. I wish Americans would buy American.  We’re damn good workers, Our Car is quality built…our sweat and lives go into every vehicle.

I LOVE Your articles. I love that I can hear a truth. I owe You something, even if it’s only $5….still, please forgive me that I’m not allowed to send more. I will when I can.  

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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