Jeremy Mercer ❖ Online

Me and Mother Jones: Nominations Out

May 17, 2010

When I was but a teenager, I would take the money I earned bagging groceries at the local IGA and head to Britton’s Smoke Shop on Bank Street to stock up on magazines. Nothing gave me a more seditious thrill than when the new issues of Spy and Mother Jones arrived. Sure, half the references went over my head and I didn’t quite understand all the politics, but the snarky New York irony of Spy and the West Coast radicalism of Mother Jones represented everything that I couldn’t find in my hometown – demure, sober, 1980s Ottawa, Canada – and made me dream of the day when I too would be navigating such electric and engaged worlds.

You can imagine my pride, then, when I learned that my essay for Ode Magazine on how human altruism puts the lie to traditional economic theory was nominated for several major West Coast journalism awards alongside essays from Mother Jones. Ultimately, we learned this month that we won best issue for the issue with my cover story on altruism and economics, but I lost the individual best essay award. Kind of like being nominated for Best Actor and Best Film at the Academy Awards but only winning the latter.

If you haven’t read the piece yet, you can do so *here*.

And, if you have read this far I assume you are either a friend or a fan, so let me go a little further. Recently, a French publishing titan launched a new celebrity magazine. When asked if he was daunted by the stiff competition in the field, he boasted that there was always money to be made by appealing to people’s most base and vulgar instincts. And, sure enough, his magazine, Public, now sells three million copies week thanks to its exhaustive investigative features on nipple slips at the Cannes festival. Meanwhile, Ode Magazine, which profiles community leaders, green investment firms, and wondrous scientific findings, continues to struggle. So, I beseech you, let’s prove that a magazine can also become successful by appealing to humanity’s higher instincts. Subscribe to Ode today by signing up *here*.

And, on that note, I will end by ostentatiously patting myself and the Ode team on the back by reproducing the managing editor’s congratulatory email :

“Earlier this month, our May 2009 issue, to which you have contributed your share, big or small, was awarded a Maggie from the Western Publishing Association. The Maggies, also known as the Oscars of the magazine industry, have been awarded annually for 59 years and recognize “hard work, dedication and creative talents” in today’s publishing industry. Competition was fierce for Ode; finalists in the Political and Social Issues category included Mother Jones, Reason, Sierra and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Needless to say, we’re proud to receive this 2010 Maggie award. Congratulations to all of you!

Jeremy Mercer’s cover story in the May issue, “Getting to the heart of money” also was a Silver Winner (in the News/Commentary/General Interest category in Folio Magazine’s Eddie Awards) at the Eddies Awards, which is a national competition. It prevailed over publications like TIME and Mother Jones, which means we are competing—and winning—against some of the best magazines in the industry.”

Related Categories: New & Notable.

One Response to Me and Mother Jones: Nominations Out

  1. Jessie says:

    Great common sense here. Wish I’d thghout of that.

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