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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

The New Republic is one of America’s oldest and most progressive political and literary magazines.

In 1914, while World War I raged in Europe, two American journalists, Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann, printed the first edition of their weekly political magazine, The New Republic. It was backed by a wealthy American heiress and her husband. From its earliest days, the magazine was meant to be an exploration of American liberalism, a role it has played continuously since its first printing, despite manifold changes to the magazine’s structure, operation, management and format.

Throughout much of recent history, the magazine was owned by Martin Peretz, a Harvard lecturer, who bought it in 1974 for $380,000. Over the decades, the magazine’s reputation as a prestigious and intellectual, if sometimes politically controversial, publication continued to grow. With Leon Wieseltier at the helm, the magazine added a substantial book review in 1980.

The New Republic’s print edition claims a modest circulation of around 42,000. They publicize that their median reader, “is 51, with a household income of nearly $100,000 and over half have graduate degrees.” The magazine was widely understood to rely on the generosity of wealthy donors.

In the early 90s, the magazine suffered a scandal when it was discovered that multiple staff writers had plagiarized quotes and fabricated facts in their writing. In 2007, Peretz sold the magazine to CanWest Global Communications, but then, along with a group of investors, bought it back in 2009. In 2012, Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s founding members, used his earnings to buy the magazine and launch a digital reinvention of the publication, of which he is now publisher and editor-in-chief. Hughes first removed and then slowly reinstituted a paywall over the magazine’s digital content, and claimed, at its launch, that he planned for it to be profitable within two years. It launched a vertical dedicated to domestic politics and policy called Q.E.D. in 2014.

Today, the magazine is based out of Washington, DC, with a staff of over 50, including 32 remote contributing editors. Franklin Foer is the magazine’s editor, and Leon Wieseltier continues to act as literary editor. The magazine holds regular events and draws some ad revenue, and continues to circulate a bimonthly print edition.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
The New Yorker, National Journal, Newsweek, National Review, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Oct. 11, 2017 / Hope Reese
Franklin Foer wants journalism to liberate itself from Facebook — In March 2012, when Chris Hughes, the billionaire cofounder of Facebook, took over The New Republic and brought back Franklin Foer as editor, the two were filled with a sense of optimism. They quickly got to work spendin...
Jan. 11, 2016 / Laura Hazard Owen
Chris Hughes puts The New Republic up for sale: “I do not have the silver bullet” — The New Republic “needs a new vision that only a new owner can bring,” Chris Hughes, the 32-year-old Facebook co-founder who acquired the 102-year-old magazine in 2012, wrote in a memo (posted to Medium) on M...
Feb. 23, 2015 / Joshua Benton
“I know what Guns and Ammo is. I know what Road and Track is…I don’t know what Fusion is.” — If you’re a weekend denizen of Media Twitter, (a) my apologies and (b) you’ve already seen this Friday blog post from Fredrik deBoer, a doctoral student at Purdue and a smart critic of contemporary media. He&...
June 18, 2013 / Caroline O'Donovan
“Does that worry you, about newspapers dying?” — The New Republic‘s Isaac Chotiner was hellbent on asking the the tough questions when he interviewed Politico founders John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei. There’s a feisty exchange about the work environment at ...
Feb. 5, 2013 / Justin Ellis
Chris Hughes on turning The New Republic into a technology company that adapts to readers — The co-founder of Facebook says the relaunched magazine will need to experiment with how its content is delivered and how they engage with advertisers....

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Caroline O'Donovan. Main text last updated: July 3, 2014.
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