Using new media to save the old

first_imgFor most college students wanting to leave their mark on the world, having helped Mark Zuckerberg launch Facebook would be more than enough. But Chris Hughes ’06, who helped to lead the social network’s growth in its early years, now has his sights set on upending a slightly less sexy medium — magazines.Nine years and a day after he and Zuckerberg took Facebook live from their Kirkland House dorm room, Hughes returned to campus on Tuesday to discuss his latest underdog venture: his plan to reinvigorate the ailing but venerable magazine The New Republic, which he purchased last spring.“I believe in the power of great writing to shape how we see the world,” Hughes said in a conversation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) sponsored by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. “That sounds incredibly idealistic, and it is lofty, but I’m not ashamed of it.”Hughes’ idealism has served him well thus far, as he has ventured into new-media startups, national politics, and now traditional publishing.“Chris Hughes did something counterintuitive all the way along the line,” said the conversation’s moderator, Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center and a lecturer in public policy at HKS.Unlike many tech founders who found overnight success (including Zuckerberg and their fellow roommate, Dustin Moskovitz), Hughes stayed in Cambridge to finish his degree. In 2007, he left his job as Facebook spokesman at the height of the company’s hype to work on social media initiatives for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, then a long shot. When Hughes assumed majority ownership of The New Republic last March, taking over as publisher and editor in chief, he seemed to be signaling a desire to make his mark in yet another field.“He has taken this venerable institution [The New Republic], and this venerable profession, journalism, and is looking at them informed by his deep knowledge of digital technology and the digital world,” Jones said.Last month, the 98-year-old journal of politics and arts launched redesigned versions of its website and biweekly print magazine, reflecting Hughes’ desire to rethink the publication’s advertising structure and its content.“I think it should be profitable, and I think it’s our challenge to prove to ourselves and to the world that we can find a profitable model,” Hughes said. But “the era when there were sizable profits in this industry is over. … The idea that we’re going to find some business model that is going to return us to the point of prosperity of 20 or 30 years ago is, I think, wishful thinking.”Hughes’ goal of merely breaking even differs markedly from the current standard held by the owners of most publications, especially newspapers, Jones noted — perhaps shedding a bit of light on why Hughes’s gambit has captured the attention and hopes of so many working journalists and media insiders. (In a December profile, New York magazine suggested Hughes was a self-styled “savior from the future for the institutions of the past.”)Soundbytes: Smart News in the Age of Social MediaListen to Chris Hughes in conversation at the Shorenstein Center from Feb. 5, 2012.“I’m in this for the journalism, not to make a lot of money for myself,” Hughes said, adding that he expects the magazine will reach financial sustainability by 2015.The magazine is still experimenting with revenue models, he said. His overarching philosophy is that it must adapt to the way people are reading in the 21st century — mostly online, often on mobile devices, and frequently referred through social media links. With that in mind, the new website has enabled features such as bookmarking (allowing a reader to save his or her place in a particular story across web-enabled devices), audio versions of every story, and “marginalia” that can present authors’ footnotes, readers’ comments, and other outlets’ reactions to a piece alongside the story itself.“You have to create a culture where there’s a high amount of experimentation, where we’re really honest about what’s working and what’s not working thus far,” Hughes said. “That’s not something that’s necessarily been part of the DNA or part of the culture of the world of journalism for a long time, but I think there are a lot of brands and a lot of people out there who are trying to do that.”Hughes expects the same attitude of the historically liberal magazine’s in-house and freelance reporters, who in his view should be doing more than just filing or even promoting their own stories.“They’re also responsible for engaging in a dialogue with people on Twitter and on Facebook — people who hate it and people who love it,” he said. “The conversation that continues after a piece is where a lot of the impact can happen.”Recognizing that the days when “you give us $35 and we give you 20 issues of print” are likely over, Hughes has pushed for enhanced experiences for the magazine’s faithful, including subscriber-only events in major cities.“People are not generally willing to pay for access to content in a digital environment,” he said. “But I think they are interested in supporting brands that they believe in, and I think they’re interested and still willing to pay for experiences.”last_img read more

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The house that Karmichael Hunt built has been put up for auction

first_imgWallabies player Karmichael Hunt passes the ball during a team training session. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt.A LUXURY suburban home that cross code rugby star Karmichael Hunt built has been put up for auction.He had the four bedroom, two bathroom house at 31 Barossa Place, Calamvale, built in 2007 when he was still starring with the Brisbane Broncos and both a State of Origin star for Queensland and in the Kangaroos. Hunt is currently on a European tour with the national rugby team, the Wallabies and plays for the Queensland Reds in the Super 15. The pool and barbecue are easily accessed off the open plan living zone.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North2 hours agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by There is a study area off the main hallway. A couple of dozen laps in the morning might have been routine.He had bought the block of land for $260,000 and went all out to put in a contemporary home which he listed last year as being “designed to take advantage of a subtropical climate”.It included open plan living that overlooked the pool “ensuring water activities can be easily supervised” and a covered patio with “enough room for barbecuing, dining and entertaining” plus a built-in TV and ducted sound to watch all the games he liked with mates. It also had a complete theatre room and entertainer’s kitchen. Perfect spot to catch every episode of Star Trek Discovery. The privacy panels were added later. The home goes to auction next Saturday November 25 at 10:30am.The person who bought the home off home paid $815,000 in May last year, and has since relisted it for auction at 10.30am next Saturday (November 25).Current agent Joel Stephan of LJ Hooker described it as being “originally built with a family in mind”.The furnishings have been updated a bit, with new screens around the pool area and the home has recently had a 10,000L rainwater tank added underground with a pump to ensure it was the “greenest yard in the street”.The home is 1km to Sunnybank Hills Shoppingtown and Calamvale Central, according to the new listing, and was built in 2007 by Adenbrook Homes on a 705sq m block of land.last_img read more

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Fantasy Sleepers: Pitcher

first_imgAlex Reyes, Cardinals. Tommy John surgery and lat surgery have limited Reyes to only five starts between the minors and majors over the past seasons. Obviously, he has to be considered an injury risk at this point, but his pedigree as one of the top prospects in all of baseball shouldn’t be forgotten. He was fantastic in his 12-game, five-start major league debut as a 21 year old in 2016, posting a 1.57/1.22 line with a 10.2 K/9 ratio. His BB-rate is the main worry, but Reyes clearly has the tools to perform at a high level. He’ll be on an innings restriction this year and may bounce around between Triple-A and the majors or the bullpen and rotation, but Reyes will have fantasy value when he’s on the mound.Josh James and Forrest Whitley, Astros. James and Whitley might ultimately be fighting for the No. 5 spot in the Astros rotation, be it in the spring or at some point in the season. Whitley has a more impressive minor league resume (3.28/1.19, 13.3 K/9 ratio), but he’s yet to pitch above Double-A. James saw a meteoric rise last season, posting a 3.23/1.12 line with a 13.5 K/9 ratio between Double-A and Triple-A, then impressing in his six-game (three-start) major league debut (2.35/0.96, 11.3 K/9). At 25, James isn’t a “young prospect”, but clearly he’s progressing well. The 21-year-old Whitley likely has more upside, but James figures to start the season in the rotation, giving him more immediate value. (Update: James is dealing with a right quad injury, which has possibily knocked him out of the running for fifth rotation spot.)Brent Honeywell, Rays. Honeywell missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, and he doesn’t figure to start the year with the big club. The 23-year-old righty is someone to watch once he does get the call, though, as he dominated in the minors (2.88/1.08, 9.9 K/9 ratio) and looked well on his way to a rotation spot prior to last spring. His minor league profile is virtually spotless, as he limits walks and homers, though his fly-ball tendencies could lead to more homers in the majors. Either way, Honeywell is name to remember once the season starts. DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheetHeading into 2019, there are a number of interesting young pitchers who could make a leap. Obviously, injuries will be a constant worry (several are coming back from serious injuries), but that’s really a constant worry with all pitchers. While we’re mostly focused on young starters, there’s always the possibility a mid-career guy makes a slight adjustment to his delivery or develops a new pitch that changes his outlook, so don’t think this list is the end-all, be-all of potential sleepers.You’ll go through pitchers like toilet paper once the season starts, but having a few high-upside young guys on your roster after the draft is always a worthwhile risk.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 3002019 Fantasy Baseball Starting Pitcher SleepersEligibility based on Yahoo’s default settingsTouki Toussaint, Braves. Over the past two seasons in the minors, Toussaint struck out 330 batters in 281.1 innings. He carried that over to his seven-game (five-start) audition in the majors last year, whiffing 32 in 29 frames. Walks were a major issue (21), as they were in the minors, but Toussaint has shown the ability to get out of trouble while not allowing many homers. The 22-year-old righty could be a WHIP killer, but if he can harness his constantly moving three-pitch mix, he could also be a solid three-category contributor.Sean Newcomb, Braves. Newcomb’s first two seasons with the Braves has yielded a lot of strikeouts…and a lot of walks. The latter has killed his WHIP (1.42), but he showed signs of improvement last year despite a declining K-rate. Newcomb was always a high-BB guy in the minors, so perhaps it’s silly to think he can curb that part of his game much, but at 25, it might be just as silly to assume he’s a finished product. Like Toussaint, he can be a big-time three-category contributor even if all he does is cut down on his homers.2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Each teamShane Bieber, Indians. Bieber never had a FIP higher than 2.57 at any of his usually brief minor league stops, and his microscopic BB-rate (0.6) has always kept his WHIP low. His 19-start major league debut last year was also quite successful given his age, though some fantasy owners might be missing it because of an unsightly 4.55 ERA. Don’t be fooled. Bieber struck out over a batter per inning, walked fewer than two batters per nine, and had one of the largest ERA-FIP differentials in the league (4.55 to 3.23). All signs point to the 23-year-old righty continuing to break out, as his fluky .356 BABIP is sure to come down.Julio Urias, Dodgers. Whether it’s as a shutdown mutli-inning reliever or a starter, Urias is too talented not to produce. The 22-year-old lefty barely pitched last year after season-ending shoulder surgery in 2017, but in 10.1 relief innings with the big club (counting the postseason), he struck out 12, walked only one, and allowed just two runs. Urias might start the season in Triple-A, but he’ll definitely be up at some point, and even though he’ll likely be on an innings restriction, he can still post numbers better than his 18-game (15-start) 2016 rookie campaign (3.39/1.45, 9.8 K/9 ratio).Nick Pivetta, Phillies. The Phillies have a pair of young righties who have similar profiles, but the 26-year-old Pivetta here is more noteworthy than 24-year-old Zach Eflin, mainly because of Pivetta’s more proven strikeout ability. He whiffed 188 batters in 164 innings last year and 140 batters in 133 innings the year before that. His career 5.33 ERA (4.77 last year) will likely scare some people off, but his 3.80 FIP last season suggests he pitched better than the standard numbers indicate. Improvements in every major peripheral last season are encouraging signs that Pivetta can really break out this season.2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft StrategyCatcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | CloserEduardo Rodriguez, Red Sox. Rodriguez has steadily improved the past two seasons, seeing his K-rate climb above 10 last year. He’ll be on a lot of radars this spring, but it feels like the 25-year-old lefty still has another gear. He’s one of those “obvious sleepers” — almost too obvious — but when all the peripherals are improving and a young player is hitting what should be his prime, what’s not to like?Tyler Skaggs, Angels. Like Rodriguez, Skaggs’ peripherals suggest a big breakout is on the horizon. He upped his K-rate to 9.3 last year while lowering his BB-rate (2.9) and significantly lowering his HR-rate (1.0). A little more luck with his .328 BABIP and the 27-year-old lefty will have the ERA and WHIP that match his improving peripherals.Joey Lucchesi, Padres. Lucchesi flashed high-level stuff during his 26-start rookie campaign in 2017, striking out 145 over 130 innings. His 4.08/1.29 line won’t jump off the screen at you, but the 25-year-old lefty had a decent BB/9 (2.98) and mainly struggled with homers — something that wasn’t a huge problem in the minors and shouldn’t be a huge problem given his home park. There’s a lot of upside here.Tyler Glasnow, Rays. The former Pirates top prospect rebounded a bit last year after a truly disastrous 2017, and he’ll head into this season as one of Tampa’s few penciled-in starters. Glasnow whiffed an impressive 11 batters per nine innings last year, but his BB-rate (4.3) and HR-rate (1.2) weren’t great. The former dropped quite a bit after his move to Tampa (and back into a starting role), but the latter skyrocketed. Glasnow is the type of guy who could destroy your ERA/WHIP for a month before you finally drop him, but the 25-year-old righty could also be a major breakout after working with Rays’ pitching coaches (see Snell, Blake). Joe Musgrove, Pirates. Musgrove has always seemed on the verge of a breakout, but he’s never quite been able to put it all together. Returning to a full-time starter’s role last year, he posted career bests in BB/9 ratio (1.8), HR/9 (0.9), FIP (3.59) and WHIP (1.18). However, his strikeout rate slightly dipped to 7.8, and it’s unclear how effective he can be for fantasy owners if that doesn’t rise. There’s little doubt the 26-year-old righty has upside, especially playing in a pitchers park in Pittsburgh, so we’re optimistic he can break out this year. It’s not hard for fantasy baseball owners to look at starting pitcher rankings and think they’ve spotted some potential sleepers and breakouts. With that many SPs, someone’s bound to stand out as undervalued. Moreover, someone’s bound to have a surpringly strong season. Between injuries and fluky BABIPs all the rest, pitchers and top prospects can be all over the board from one year to the next, which is why it’s difficult to actually be correct about sleeper predictions during your draft.When we try to identify SP sleepers, we generally look at peripherals and advanced stats like K/9 ratio, BB/9 ratio, HR rate, FIP, BABIP, swinging-strike rate, and more. Wins, ERA, and WHIP are obviously going to be influenced by these, and while the end results might be all that matter in most fantasy leagues, they tend to be more volatile and somewhat luck-based than hitting stats. Wins are impossible to predict from year to year, and ERA can fluctuate wildly based on some poor batted-ball luck, so don’t get too caught up in the standard numbers.last_img read more

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