The New Republic Editorial Shake-Up: The Long/Short, Old/New Media Debate

Two recent Charlie Rose interviews – see below: One with Leon Wieseltier, long-time New Republic editor who resigned in protest last fall, and one with Chris Hughes, the Facebook cofounder and young grandaddy of online political organizing (Obama ’08) who purchased The New Republic in 2012.

It’s fascinating to see them wrestle with topics such as:

Assuming that long-form, in-depth content must be optimized for maximum exposure – to escape obscurity in a mobile/social world – is there any way to avoid destroying its quality and influence?

Where do I stand? I say that it’s possible and necessary. But I’m in no position to pass judgment on how The New Republic is pursuing that. (It would make a great movie, though.)

I was very moved by Leon Wieseltier’s call for a form of media that isn’t detrimentally driven by marketing or metrics.  He’s protecting a long-tail media that counts some of the most influential Americans among its relatively small audience.

But I’m generally a fan and admirer of efforts to breathe Silicon Valley entrepreneurship into old media that’s worth saving.

Side notes: In 2009, I wrote herein about how impressed I was with an appearance Chris Hughes made at NYU. And, of course, I’m a long-time fan of Charlie Rose – even have him in my blogroll (but was too shy to interrupt him as he looked for a cab recently on Lexington and 52nd or so).

On with the videos – presented with Chris second, not only in a defensive posture but with an optimism that I hope proves wise.



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