Mother Jones’ Redesign Spoke To The Times

“The Left is so screwed up now. It doesn’t know what it’s for; it knows what it’s against. It doesn’t have a coherent set of goals,” Klein said in his living room in the Berkeley hills late last year, shortly after his departure from the helm of Mother Jones. (He remains on the masthead as consulting editor and teaches journalism at Stanford University.) The magazine, named for the turn-of-the-century labor activist Mary Harris Jones, “was founded at a time when there was some optimism that the Left was coming to a mass movement,” Klein says. “Which it hasn’t done.”

climateAnd while its circulation of 130,000 isn’t cause for alarm, publisher Jay Harris hopes to revive the numbers within three years to its early-’80s peak of 200,000. But he also wants more independence from the Foundation for National Progress, the 501(c)(3) that funds the magazine substantially. “We get 60 percent of our revenue from traditional commercial sources–ads and circulation–and the balance …