The American Prospect

The American Prospect is a daily online and quarterly print American political and public policy magazine dedicated to American liberalism and progressivism. Based in Washington, D.C., The American Prospect says it aims "to advance liberal and progressive goals through reporting, analysis, and debate about today's realities and tomorrow's possibilities."[3]

The American Prospect
The American Prospect, cover dated February 1, 2006
EditorRobert Kuttner and Paul Starr[1]
CategoriesU.S. politics and public policy
Total circulation
(December 2012)
Year founded1990; 31 years ago (1990)
CompanyThe American Prospect, Inc.
CountryUnited States
Based inWashington, D.C.
LanguageAmerican English


The magazine was founded in 1990 (and initially called The Liberal Prospect) by Robert Kuttner, Robert Reich, and Paul Starr as a response to the perceived ascendancy of conservatism in the 1980s. Kuttner and Starr currently serve as Co-Editors. David Dayen serves as Executive Editor. Ellen J. Meany serves as Publisher.[4]

The American Prospect runs a writing fellows program that offers young journalists the opportunity to spend two years at the magazine, contributing online and print content. Past fellows have included Matt Yglesias,[5] Ezra Klein,[5] Chris Mooney, Joshua Micah Marshall, Dana Goldstein, Nicholas Confessore, and Kate Sheppard. Staff writers and contributors include Gabriel Arana, Steve Erickson, Adele Stan, Paul Waldman, EJ Dionne, and Harold Meyerson.

In March 2010, The American Prospect entered into an affiliation with Demos, a public policy research and advocacy center based in New York City. The official affiliation ended in 2012. That year, the magazine nearly folded due to financial struggles, but it was able to raise enough money to stay afloat.[6] In 2014, the magazine re-purposed itself as a "quarterly journal of ideas." Kit Rachlis announced he was leaving the editorship of the magazine, senior writer Monica Potts and editor Bob Moser were laid off, while several other editorial staffers left the publication.[7] New staff were hired and the organization built back up. In its early years, the Prospect also undertook a cutting-edge project to connect progressive organizations through its Moving Ideas Network (, originally called the Electronic Policy Network, where staff wrote policy statements, advocacy actions, and reports from the late 1990s through 2006 when the project was "adopted" by Care2.[8] The network was absorbed into Care2's Frogloop and general operations.[9]

In 2010, The American Prospect was the recipient of Utne Reader magazine's Utne Independent Press Award for Political Coverage.[10]


Originally The American Prospect published quarterly, then bimonthly. In 2000, thanks to a grant from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, it became biweekly.[11] Financial and logistical difficulties ensued, and the magazine moved to a 10-issue-per-year format in spring 2003 and a bimonthly format in summer 2012. The online version of the magazine includes an active blog called TAPPED (derived from TAP, the acronym of The American Prospect), as well as a blog by Adam Serwer. Facing financial issues, the magazine reduced its bi-monthly publication schedule to a quarterly publication schedule in 2014.[7]


Notable contributors to the magazine and blog have included:


  1. ^ Levy, Nicole; Sterne, Peter (May 28, 2014). "American Prospect likely to become quarterly 'journal of ideas'". Politico. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Foreign Policy Business Publication Circulation Statement". BPA Worldwide. December 2012. Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
  3. ^ "About Us". The American Prospect. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Meet the Staff". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Rosenberg, Alyssa (May 30, 2014). "The fate of the American Prospect and what keeps a journalism ecosystem healthy". Washington Post. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  6. ^ Calderone, Michael (June 20, 2012). "American Prospect Exceeds Fundraising Goal, Raises Enough To Stay Alive". Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  7. ^ a b Tanzer, Myles (June 2, 2014). "American Prospect Mass Exodus Begins". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  8. ^ Care2. "Care2 Adopts the Moving Ideas Network". Retrieved 2016-04-13.
  9. ^ "Moving Ideas Network - Discover the Network".
  10. ^ "Winners of the 2010 Utne Independent Press Awards". Retrieved 27 October 2010.
  11. ^ Goodison, Donna L. (June 14, 2002). "Just what are the prospects for The American Prospect?". Boston Business Journal.

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