How can journalism make a difference? That’s the question that has been driving us at Mother Jones, every day, since our founding in 1976. It’s our job to have an impact—by finding the truth about things that would otherwise stay hidden and getting it out to people who make change.
But impact isn’t always what you think. Yes, it’s major scoops that expose wrongdoing and stories that help influence legislation and activism. It’s readership and engagement and social media shares. But often, the most important changes don’t come right away. Sometimes—often in fact—journalists hammer away at an issue for years before it breaks through. It can take more than a news cycle to really see change happening.
And sometimes the most meaningful change comes one person at a time, whether it’s a community inspired to make change, or the little guy getting a boost in their David and Goliath struggle with the powers that be. And perhaps, the most compelling measure of impact comes from our readers. Making a difference is not just about the number of people reached or the number of times a story gets picked up in other media. It’s also about how storytelling can really change how people look at the world.
Each year, Mother Jones publishes an Impact Report to highlight coverage that changed the conversation. Focusing on all the aspects of impact, we surface the stories, videos, data, and other hidden gems to tell the story of how our journalism made an impression on the world.