Facebook Co-Founder Takes the Reins at ‘New Republic’ Magazine
Chris Hughes, 28-year-old new media mogul and Facebook co-founder, is now the publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Republic after buying a majority stake of the long-standing progressive magazine.
Hughes revealed his plans for TNR in a letter Friday:
“Most of us get our news from social networks, blogs, and daily aggregators. The web has introduced a competitive, and some might argue hostile, landscape for long, in-depth, resource-intensive journalism. But as we’ve seen with the rise of tablets and mobile reading devices, it is an ever shifting landscape — one that I believe now offers opportunities to reinvigorate the forms of journalism that examine the challenges of our time in all their complexity. Although the method of delivery of important ideas had undergone drastic change over the past 15 years, the hunger for them has not dissipated.”
Hughes, who was Mark Zuckerberg’s college roommate at Harvard University, previously spearheaded publicity for Facebook in its early days, but he eventually quit in 2007 to join President Barack Obama’s campaign staff as the director of Online Organizing. He was responsible for the grassroots campaign on social media that attracted an unprecedented number of young voters. He later founded Jumo, an online hub for social charities that recently merged with GOOD magazine.
Despite The New Republic’s small circulation and tiny staff, it has a widespread influence. But it’s also been losing money — a factor many wonder whether Hughes will help transform.
For Hughes, though, turning The New Republic into the next Facebook is not his priority. “Profit per se is not my motive. The reason I’m getting involved here is that I believe in the type of vigorous and contextual journalism that we — we in general as a society — need,” he told The New York Times.
And while Hughes maintains that he’s committed to producing long-form journalism and hardly uses Twitter, he did tweet his thoughts about his new ownership: