Mother Jones and the Center for Investigative Reporting will merge next year to become a single nonprofit news outlet.
The two organizations, both in San Francisco, have a decades-long history of collaborating. Mother Jones, a progressive website and print magazine, started in 1976. The Center for Investigative Reporting was founded a year later, and is known for the “Reveal” radio public show and podcast, as well as its documentary film arm.
Talks to join began “in earnest” only this year, said Monika Bauerlein, the chief executive of Mother Jones.
“There is a lot more nonprofit journalism emerging and there’s a lot of concern with the state of local journalism, but investigative reporting has taken a little bit of a back seat,” Ms. Bauerlein said. “It’s tremendously endangered at the local level in particular, and so we felt that by combining forces we could create a bit of a counterweight for the eroding in investigative reporting.”
The merger is planned for early next year. Ms. Bauerlein will become the chief executive officer, while Robert J. Rosenthal, the chief executive of the Center for Investigative Reporting, will become chief executive officer emeritus. Clara Jeffery, the editor in chief of Mother Jones, will lead the combined newsroom, which will have more than 70 people. Al Letson, the host of “Reveal” since 2013, will continue in his role.
Ms. Bauerlein said the merger would result in “a very small number” of redundancies on the administrative side. The nonprofits have $21 million committed by foundations and donors over the next three years, she said.
Ms. Jeffery said that journalists would work together on investigative projects that would be published across multiple platforms, including online, print, audio and video. She said the organization would work on a “multipronged effort to reach existing audiences, reach new, younger and more diverse audiences and have multiple forms of revenue” to ensure they could continue offering open access to their work without a paywall.
“We want to make sure that the stories that we do are available to all, all the time,” she said.