Old Dogs Learn New Tricks

Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes Named Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The New Republic

chris hughes 593x450 Facebook Cofounder Chris Hughes Named Editor in Chief and Publisher of The New Republic

via flickr.com/docsearls

It looks like we can cut the question mark at the end of “Chris Hughes: Media Mogul?” The New York Times Media Decoder blog reports that the rumors were true, Mr. Hughes will indeed head up the 98-year-old neoliberal magazine, which has struggled with diminishing profits and dwindling circulation.

Although the terms of the deal were not revealed, Mr. Hughes will become the magazine’s editor-in-chief and publisher. And they’ve wasted no time updating the publication’s Wikipedia page. After spearheading President Obama’s digital campaign in 2008, Mr. Hughes went on to found Jumo, a social network for nonprofits and activists which was “acquired” by GOOD for $0.

What’s the former Facebooker’s plan to rescue old media? According to Media Decoder, Mr. Hughes will focus on “distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad.”But that doesn’t mean he’s privileging technological innovation over good ole fashioned gumshoe reporting. As Mr. Hughes writes in his letter to The New Republic‘s readers:

Many 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 has undergone drastic change over the past 15 years, the hunger for them has not dissipated.

In the next era of The New Republic, we will aggressively adapt to the newest information technologies without sacrificing our commitment to serious journalism. We will look to tell the most important stories in politics and the arts and provide the type of rigorous analysis that The New Republic has been known for. We will ask pressing questions of our leaders, share groundbreaking new ideas, and shed new light on the state of politics and culture.

Between Mr. Hughes’ new gig and Yishan Wang’s appointment as CEO of Reddit, we think its safe to say the Facebook Mafia is starting to feel the call of duty.

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