In retrospect, last week's meltdown at The New Republic should have been easy to predict. The quintessential social media mogul - Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate - buys the ultimate symbol of the old media, a progressive opinion journal that dates back to the Woodrow Wilson administration. What could possibly go wrong? But when the 28-year-old Chris Hughes snapped up The New Republic in 2012, he cast himself as more preservationist than disrupter, praising the magazine's rich tradition of rigorous reporting and speaking of the public's appetite for quality, in-depth journalism.
Last month I had the chance to attend the Adobe Digital Symposium in New York. Much of sessions focused on how brand marketers are harnessing the power of tablet and mobile publishing tools. However, as part of the day's events, Chris Hughes, publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Republic joined head of Adobe's digital publishing Nick Bogaty for a Q&A session.
The New Republic has introduced a new feature on its site, a small addition but one that underscores Chris Hughes’ stated interest in long-form journalism and the active role he’ll be playing at the magazine. The section, TNR Reader, is a simple compilation of a few staff-chosen long reads from around the Web, less an aggregator than a collection of links.
The newest owner of The New Republic magazine is Chris Hughes, a new-media guru who co-founded Facebook and helped to run the online organizing machine for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.
Mr. Hughes’s purchase of a majority stake in the magazine will be announced on Friday, once again remaking the masthead of the nearly century-old magazine that helped define modern American liberalism.
His focus, he said in an interview in advance of the announcement, will be on distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad.