Political Reporter

Do you love reporting on politics but don’t love the way that politics is typically covered? Do you eschew the horse-race frame for deeper, quirkier, more compelling stories that concern themselves with the real policy stakes? Do you want to write for real people who seek to make real change, not DC lobbyists looking for an angle?

Mother Jones is looking for a political reporter to focus on the left side of the aisle, to tell the stories that reveal the forces, philosophies, and foibles shaping the Democratic Party, and how its various factions, constituencies, and grassroots activists position themselves against the right, and each other.

Too many reporters cover politics as pure sport, but you know that the next few elections have a functioning democracy and a habitable planet on the line. You have no time for “he said, she said,” “view from nowhere” reporting, but nor are you a conduit for any simplistic party line, including “Dems suck” or “Dems in disarray.”

You hunger for scoops but also realize that character insights and sharp analytical frames elevate “gotcha” to “got it.” You have a high metabolism and a competitive nature, but you possess the collaborative skills needed to thrive in a small, far-flung newsroom. You don’t need to be told why iterative reporting rolls up into big features, and visa versa. You’re eager to experiment with newsletters, social media, and being on camera or behind a mic. Most of all, you want to combine rigorous reporting with an engaging, no-nonsense style—and the ability to craft compelling stories that are impossible to put down.


  • Pitching, reporting, and writing stories (which might include features, investigations, profiles, and breaking news) for the magazine, website, and other Mother Jones platforms
  • Monitoring the latest political news and actively maintaining a network of sources to conceive of fresh and compelling ways to advance our understanding of the crisis facing democracy
  • Collaborating with editors and reporters (including multimedia producers) on a variety of assignments
  • Adhering to the highest journalistic standards


  • At least 4–5 years of experience reporting on politics or policy
  • Track record of scoops in a competitive landscape
  • A deep and diverse network of expert sources who you call, trail, and meet with. This is not a job for those who only want to analyze or critique from afar.
  • Comfort with reporting in a variety of story formats, thoroughly, independently, and quickly
  • Strong communication and organizational skills, and the ability and agility to meet deadlines and adapt to shifting editorial priorities when the news dictates
  • Experience with WordPress and/or other digital publishing platforms
  • Demonstrated ability to experiment with different reporting mediums is a plus, but not essential. Eagerness to try is.
  • Collaborative, generous spirit


Only applications submitted via this application form will be considered.

What you’ll need for the application form:

  • An updated resume
  • A well-thought-out cover letter outlining why you are right for this job; how your specific vision for this role can make meaningful change; and how your skills can achieve that vision
  • At least three examples of your own reporting that has moved the needle


Mother Jones and its parent organization, the Foundation for National Progress, are committed to creating a diverse environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, ancestry, marital status, union activity, AIDS/HIV status, on-the-job injuries, or any status otherwise protected under applicable federal, state, or local laws.

We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds and ages and we especially encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

Our benefits include health, dental, and vision benefits for our employees and their dependents (premiums fully paid by Mother Jones), paid vacation starting at three weeks per year, pretax commuter benefits and an FSA program, a 1% 401(k) match, a flex-hours program, and a 37.5-hour workweek.

We have offices in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC, and many folks work remotely. There’s a preference for this role to be based in DC, but strong candidates with a compelling idea for why their locale is a feature, not a bug, will be considered.