Economy

Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Is Buying 'The New Republic'

Social media meets old media:

Saying that he's convinced "the demand for long-form, quality journalism is strong in our country," Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he's buying The New Republic.

That's a magazine, as Steve says, which is four times older than its new owner. Hughes is 28.

"People still want independent, rigorous reporting and The New Republic has been a place where that happens," Hughes tells Steve during a conversation that's to be broadcast on Friday's Morning Edition.

Hughes, who directed online organizing for the Obama campaign in 2008, adds that there's no shortage of short-form journalism these days (such as blogs). "The shortage is understanding the big problems of our day," he believes. "Where do you go for context on the problems our nation faces?"

And he sees a growing ability to connect long-form journalism to digital users, thanks to tablets that allow users to "pause, linger, read and process very important ideas."

He sees The New Republic as a place "of liberal values. And by that I mean values that embrace the core American ideals of freedom, equality and an American responsibility to make the world a better place."

There's no word yet on the price Hughes is paying for The New Republic. He does think it "can be profitable," though it's "not going to be the next Facebook-" — which earned him the money to make a deal such as this.

We'll add the as-broadcast version of their discussion to the top of this post later today.

Update at 6:45 a.m. ET. The New York Times also spoke with Hughes. Its Media Decoder blog writes that:

Hughes "will become publisher and the editor in chief of the magazine, and Richard Just will remain the editor. Martin Peretz, who was editor in chief from 1975 until 2010, when his title was changed to editor in chief emeritus, will become a member of the magazine's advisory board. ...

"Under Mr. Peretz's editorship and ownership, the magazine has passionately supported Israel and drawn criticism at times for its pro-war stances. The magazine's editorials supported the Iraq War in 2003 and later expressed deep regret for doing so."

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