It’s no secret that the world of journalism has changed. Everything from the business model to the public’s perception of the media to the White House’s relationship with the press has been flipped on its head over the past few decades.

But, rather than despair, "Mother Jones" CEO Monika Bauerlein has decided on a new strategy for engaging her audience: honesty about the outlet’s finances.

"Mother Jones" has relied more and more on crowdfunding to keep its newsroom afloat. Last summer, Bauerlein and Editor-in-Chief Clara Jeffery published a piece asking readers to become sustaining donors. The success of their idea has convinced Bauerlein that being transparent about the costs of running a newsroom and asking readers to support journalism is the only way to keep the institution strong.

“These reporters need to go down these rabbit holes day after day and month after month, and we need to be able to sustain that over time,” she said on BPR today. “We bring in virtually every kind of revenue that’s ethical and that we can combine with the integrity of a newsroom, and that is how we’re going to have journalism in America.”

She explained how one reporter’s story about going undercover as a prison guard cost much more than the profit generated by ad revenue. Her decision to “open up the books here and show people what it costs” illustrated how "Mother Jones" will depend on sustainers.

“That gap, that delta between the big number and the small number is where we have to figure out how we’re going to save journalism,” she said.

Bauerlein also said this model will have to apply to other outlets. She pointed out changes in the way certain newsrooms are approaching their audiences.

“For news and public affairs reporting, readers supporting it are going to have to be a part of it,” she said. “You see that now with newspapers like the [New York Times] saying, ‘Support the mission of the Times.’ It’s no longer ‘Buy this newspaper.’”

Even with this new approach, Bauerlein said "Mother Jones" is focused on knowing its audience, and not just extracting money from them.

“We need to stop thinking about monetizing them, which is sort of like turning them into dollar signs, and more about having a relationship that makes them feel like, ‘Yes I want to be a part of this,’” she said.

Monika Bauerlein is the CEO of "Mother Jones." To hear her interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.