Alexandra Donlin

The Collapse of The New Republic


Source: Bearing Drift

The New Republic has been an incredibly successful liberal opinion publication for over 100 years. That is until its downward spiral started in 2014.

The magazine was started by Herbert Croly, Walter Lippmann and Walter Weyl, with the financial backing of Dorothy Payne Whitney and Willard Straight in 1914. It was known for its liberalism and progressiveness.

The magazine is now run by Facebook co-founder, Chris Hughes.

Since he bought the publication in 2012, he has been trying to transform it to fit into today’s digital age. Hughes pretty much wanted to turn the political opinion publication into a technology company. This included getting rid of staff members that were too old and ill-fitted for the transformation.

In an article from The New Yorkerthe people that left the publication were detailed. 12 editors left and 36 out of 38 contributing editors asked to have their names removed from the masthead. This was all because Franklin Foer, the former editor of The New Republic, resigned after finding out he was going to be replaced by former Gawker reporter, Gabriel Snyder.

Hughes never expected to have this many resignations under his ruling. But what else would he expect trying to completely change the publication into something it isn’t and never was?

“Snyder has gone about replacing the decimated editorial staff, replenishing the the magazine’s ranks with hires from the realms cable television, digital media and magazines,” an article from Poynter detailed.

However, this isn’t the only time The New Republic has landed itself in murky water. For most of its modern history, the publication has been entirely white while publishing stories involving white people’s worst instincts. During the ’80s and ’90s, black people were disregarded with bigotry. This was mainly at the hands of Martin Pertez, who was racist against blacks and Arabs.

Aside from how the publication is being reshaped into a technology company, the question also lies in if it will become more diverse, since it is still liberal.

This publication could have stayed on top if Chris Hughes would have kept it the same rather than completely changing the premise of it. No matter what happens, Hughes will still stay rich. He is worth around half a billion dollars, mainly because of Facebook shares.

Because of everything that has happened in recent years, The New Republic may not ever return to its former glory. Journalists dreamed of writing for the publication but are now focusing their efforts toward other smaller publications in the same liberal opinion genre.

Unfortunately no one will want to take on the publication ever again because of its demise. It will be interesting to see what does come out of it, if anything even will.

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