Facebook’s Chris Hughes buys The New Republic

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes wrote a letter today to The New Republic’s readers. He signed it, “Chris Hughes, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief.”

Hughes, 28, now owns and runs the august organ of liberal progressivism.

“Hughes first expressed interest in the publication in January, when its owners, including [former] Editor-in-Chief Martin Peretz, hired The Blackstone Group to oversee the sale process,” according to All Facebook.

The New Republic, like so many print publications, is trying to navigate troubled waters. It’s “had three owners in the past five years and has been losing readers for more than a decade,” according to the Washington Post.

After co-founding Facebook, Hughes coordinated President Obama’s 2008 online campaign. Fast Company magazine called him, “The Kid Who Made Obama President.”

But Hughes is not expected to go all social-media on The New Republic. Instead, he appears to be backing a statement to back slow, investigative and expensive long-form journalism.

He told Media Decoder he would support “the future of high-quality long-form journalism,” and “expand the amount of rigorous reporting and solid analysis” at The New Republic.

New York Times Magazine editor Gerald Marzorati wondered back in 2011: "Who is going to pay for the necessary months of reporting, fact-checking, and editing — not to mention the legal protection that intensive pieces often require?”

Who thought it'd be a social media tycoon? 

In his letter Hughes wrote, “People are once again skeptical that quality journalism can flourish. Technology’s disruption of traditional forms of media has led many to believe that independent, thoughtful media institutions are on the decline and that there are not enough readers to support serious reporting and analysis.”

A recent, albeit slow, revival of the long-form journalism is evidenced by websites like Longform.org, Longreads.comKindle Singles, and now Chris Hughes. 

“Profit per se is not my motive,” Hughes told the Washington Post. “The reason I’m getting involved here is that I believe in the type of vigorous contextual journalism that we — we in general as a society — need.”

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