The covers reflect the emphasized issues, using drawings or photographs. They are fairly eye-catching, such as the May/June cover featuring Uncle Sam with is tall hat in flames and the headline, "As the World Burns," or the current issue headlined "The WMDs That Walked Away," featuring a cartoon face of a Johnny Quest-ish looking Middle Eastern man with charcoal gray skin and gold eyes. The covers of Mother Jones are dynamic and imaginative but definitely left-leaning.
The online version of The Beat Within was studied. There cover of the September 7 edition is a pencil sketch of handcuffed wrists, upturned, with jail bars in the background. In the upper left-hand corner of the cover page is a logo of a person sitting in a jail cell, writing. This is a powerful symbol that dispels myths about incarcerated people; it encourages an empathetic feeling. The challenge of the online version is that one needs to read and explore the site to discover its intentions and content. Most mainstream people would likely not be bothered to delve any further than the glance at the title page and self-description.
Mother Jones' table of contents offers a healthy plethora of articles with a wide range of subjects; the current issue ranges from the story of a guilt-ridden Bill Wiseman, who voted to restore Oklahoma's death penalty then became a driving force supporting lethal injections as a more humane way of delivering the death penalty) to a photo essay of the dismal state of affairs in Darfur, Sudan. The reader is offered a deeper view of known issues than the mainstream media offers, and also draws attention to stories that the mainstream media doesn't. Mother Jones offers an opportunity to look at what fell through the cracks that is worthy of attention in a way that is informative and useful.
After perusing articles in Mother Jones, it is obvious that the magazine advocates awareness of what is wrong with the worldwide system, how it functions through the power of large corporations and who the victims really are, balanced with suggested actions as well as news of positive environmental changes such as expanded use of hybrid vehicles.
The Beat's table of contents is structured in categories, which classify the writing subjects of the juvenile inmate writers. Sample categories are "Who I am," "Gangs," "Guns," "It Hurts" and "My Cell." In the online version of The Beat, click on several categories and you will see the same essays repeated in some of them. The themes take on a feeling of repetition, since the writings offered come from inside incarcerated juveniles and are informative inasmuch as a look inside the minds of young people that mainstream will regard as "criminal element."
Ads in Mother Jones reflect the environmental and humanitarian concern of its publishers and editors; ads for organic cotton T-shirts as well as the Union Of Concerned Scientists (a bright orange ad promoting the cessation of global warming) appear, as well as politically oriented ads such as advocating clemency for unjustly imprisoned people. Mother Jones also makes it clear that donations are welcome; due to restricting advertising to the magazines own code of ethics, advertising alone does not support the magazine. There are no ads from computer corporations, airlines, car companies,