Jay Harris is the founder and president of Earthshaking Productions, a media company recently formed to help change the country’s dysfunctional political culture.
In October 2009, Harris stepped down after 19 years as the publisher of Mother Jones, the investigative news organization. During his tenure, MoJo built on a tradition of groundbreaking public interest reporting by launching, in the Internet’s Pleistocene (1993), Webby Award-winning MotherJones.com; dramatically expanding circulation of Mother Jones magazine; opening an eight-reporter Washington, D.C., bureau; and winning two National Magazine Awards for “general excellence” in 2001 and 2008. MoJo was a finalist for three National Magazine Awards in 2009.
Harris serves on the governing board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (home of “the Doomsday Clock”) and the board of the First Amendment Coalition. In 2006, he helped found The Media Consortium, an alliance of independent, progressive media working together to extend the reach and impact of their journalism. Harris has spoken frequently on the business of journalism on campuses and at business gatherings, including conferences of the Social Venture Network, Bioneers, and more CWAs than he can remember. He has taught magazine management at the University of California Graduate School of Journalism.
Before joining Mother Jones in 1991, Harris was general manager of Newsweek magazine's Pacific edition, publisher of Travel & Leisure Asia, and director of special projects for Newsweek International. He has a BA in English from Duke University and a master’s in management from the Yale School of Management. Harris lives in San Francisco with his wife, Marcia Cohen, and their two daughters.