Oil spill, climate coverage drive growth at Mother Jones

Science and environment coverage, often marginalized in daily newspapers and news magazines, has helped drive exceptional growth at Mother Jones recently, the magazine’s editors said last week.

Publisher Steve Katz announced a 125 percent increase in unique visitors to the publication’s Web site and 61 percent growth in total digital revenue (including a 339 percent increase in online contributions) compared to the same period last year. According to the press release:

Mother Jones’ early decision to deliver team coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, along with its eight-person Washington, DC, bureau’s ongoing coverage of political battles over health care, financial reform, immigration, the Supreme Court, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, played a major role in driving the quarterly growth.

“The BP oil-spill story needs to be covered by reporters who know the science, the landscape, and the politics. That’s also how we approach our coverage of Beltway politics. It’s the kind of journalism that Mother Jones does best,” said editor Clara Jeffery.

Jeffery also pointed to Mother Jones’ participation in the Climate Desk, a new journalistic collaboration that includes The Atlantic, the Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, Slate, Wired, and WNET’s Need to Know.

Mother Jones recently won the 2010 National Magazine Award for General Excellence in the 100,000 to 250,000 circulation category. CJR has complimented its oil spill and climate coverage on a number of occasions, and it’s nice to see that such work is being rewarded in the marketplace.

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Curtis Brainard writes on science and environment reporting. Follow him on Twitter @cbrainard.