Jay Harris, former Publisher of Mother Jones, joins The American Prospect and Demos

For Immediate Release
January 12, 2012
Lauren Strayer, lstrayer@demos.org, 212-389-1413

Jay Harris, former Publisher of Mother Jones, joins The American Prospect and Demos

Washington, D.C.—Miles Rapoport, President of The American Prospect magazine and the national policy center Demos, announced today that Jay Harris will be the magazine’s new publisher and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos.

From 1991 to 2009, Harris was the publisher of Mother Jones, the investigative news organization, where he helped grow the publication’s print circulation to unprecedented levels while overseeing the launch of its popular website and the opening of its Washington, D.C., bureau. Most recently, Harris has been a consultant to independent media, specializing in hybrid business models that support public interest journalism through a combination of commercial and philanthropic revenues.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jay Harris to The American Prospect and Demos,” said Rapoport. “Throughout his career in publishing, Jay has shown extraordinary vision and leadership in skillfully navigating a changing media landscape and amplifying the voice of essential independent journalism.  His commitment to progressive values combined with his publishing savvy will help move The Prospect to its next level at this critical moment.”

"To have experience in both the commercial and non-profit publishing worlds is rare," said Kit Rachlis, editor of The Prospect. "To have succeeded brilliantly in both is even more unusual. I couldn't be more delighted to have Jay as a partner as we grapple with technological upheavals that are as challenging as they are exciting."  

“The Prospect has long been home to the most thoughtful, on-target reporting and analysis of how American politics can better serve the American people, and that role has never been more important than it is today,” said Harris. “I look forward to working with Kit, Miles, and the talented Prospect/Demos team to build on their rich legacy.”

As a Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow, Harris will focus on combating the outsized influence corporations have in the nation’s politics and policy. He is a co-founder, with Jim Hightower and Katrina vanden Heuvel, of the We the People Campaign, which aims to amplify the efforts of independent media, grassroots activists, and policy groups working for a healthier democracy.

Harris is the president of the board of the Public Intelligence Foundation (publishers of the Hightower Lowdown) and serves on the board of the First Amendment Coalition and on the communications advisory board of Human Rights Watch. In 2005, he helped found The Media Consortium.

Prior to joining Mother Jones, Harris was an executive at Newsweek International, with positions in New York and Hong Kong. He lives in San Francisco, California.


The American Prospect was founded in 1990 by Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich, and Paul Starr as an authoritative magazine of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics. Since then, the Prospect has grown into a print journal with a circulation of 30,000, a special in-depth report in most issues, and a daily Web magazine with 300,000 unique monthly visitors.

In 2010, The American Prospect entered into a publishing partnership with Demos, a national public policy research and advocacy center.