Chris Hughes

You are currently browsing articles tagged Chris Hughes.

Facebook cofounder and leading Obama technologist Chris Hughes made the surprising decision to shift to old media when he purchased the New Republic. It hasn’t all been smooth. For his premiere issue, Hughes elbowed aside Steve Brill’s epic health-insurance piece, which became a sensation for Time, in order to run a pedestrian cover-story interview with the President. But there’s also been lots of great stuff during his brief tenure.

Hughes and other tech entrepreneurs are backing GiveDirectly, a system that removes the often expensive middleman from charitable giving. From Kerry A. Dolan in Forbes:

“Paul Niehaus, an assistant professor of economics at UC San Diego and a board member of GiveDirect, came up with the idea of transferring money to poor people’s cell phones back in 2008. He was working with the Indian government to limit corruption and saw how the government there transferred money to people’s phones. ‘I realized I could do that myself,’ Niehaus told me. He told the gathering in San Francisco that most of the money that’s donated to help poor people goes to international development organizations, not poor people directly.  GiveDirectly’s giving has had ‘big impacts on nutrition, education, land and livestock’ and ‘hasn’t been shown to increase how much people drink,’ Niehaus emphasized. ‘A typical poor person is poor not because he is irresponsible, but because he was born in Africa.’

GiveDirectly finds poor households – typically people who live in mud huts with thatched roofs – and uses a system called M-Pesa, run by Vodafone , to transfer money to their cell phones.  Transaction fees eat up a mere 3 cents per donated dollar. Niehaus says plenty of recipients use the money to upgrade their homes by adding a metal roof.”

Tags: ,

Odd that Facebook co-founder and initial Obama online guru Chris Hughes has made the move to print, purchasing a controlling interest in the New Republic and naming himself Editor-in-Chief. Certainly it won’t be a print product much longer, though that hardly matters if Hughes is able to turn out the great reportage he plans. From a new Financial Times interview with him conducted by Anna Fifield:

“Then almost a year ago, Hughes moved on to The New Republic and took a majority stake for an undisclosed amount. Like many other magazines, it was hemorrhaging readers, owners, editors and money. Its circulation had fallen to 34,000 from a peak of more than 100,000 two decades ago.

In an age when it can seem that journalism is increasingly conducted in 140 characters, it seemed like a counter-cultural step: here was a new-media sensation moving to a traditional magazine committed to publishing 10,000-word essays on paper and delivered to readers by post.

While admitting that Zuckerberg ‘absolutely’ thinks it’s weird that he’s moving into old media, Hughes argues that people of his age in this Twitter era are still readers. ‘A Pew [Research Center] report recently found that people under 30 are reading more books than they were 10 years ago – not much more, but more – and are as likely to have read them on their phone as in print,’ he says. ‘It’s crazy.’

He should know. He admits that he has read whole chapters of War and Peace on his iPhone, although he also read parts on old-fashioned paper. (Over Christmas, he tells me, he read DH Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, and he is now reading George Saunders’ new collection of short stories on his iPad.)”

Tags: ,