In his first editor’s note for The New Republic, editor-in-chief Gabriel Snyder suggests that the recent exodus of a large chunk of its staff is just a sign that the magazine is staying true to its roots. “The New Republic has always been both in love and at war with its prior self,” he writes. “The magazine’s early decades were marked by abrupt ownership changes, unceremonious dismissals of editors, shifting policy positions, and uprooted headquarters, all accompanied by masthead upheavals.” After running through the “many deaths and rebirths” of TNR, Snyder concludes that “its most important survival skill has been to attract new champions from beyond its inner sanctum.” So, rather than an embarrassing incident sparked by the departure of a beloved editor, Snyder portrays this as an opportunity for the magazine to “be better at welcoming into our fold readers, writers, and editors who reflect the American experience as it exists today.”
He also suggests that it will make more diverse hires going forward:
As we revive one proud legacy of The New Republic—the launching of new voices and experts—those new voices and experts will be diverse in race, gender, and background. As we build our editorial staff, we will reach out to talented journalists who might have previously felt unwelcome at The New Republic. If this publication is to be influential, and not merely survive, it can no longer afford to represent the views of one privileged class, nor appeal solely to a small demographic of political elites.
According to the Huffington Post, the next issue – which won’t come out until February – includes contributions from Ann Friedman, Batya Ungar-Sargon, Cathy Park Hong, Inga Safron, Jazmine Hughes, Jeff Ball, Thomas Rogers, Jen Doll, William Giraldi, and Jeet Heer (who embraced TNR’s spirit of being “in love and at war” with itself by tweeting a lengthy criticism of the magazine’s problematic history on race and gender issues). However, the magazine has not announced the hiring of any new staffers, and it remains to be seen whether increased diversity will be the legacy of the latest messy incident in TNR’s history.
This post has been updated to clarify that the journalists are only writing for TNR’s upcoming issue, not signing on as new contributing writers.