You might find it hard at first to see a connection between Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and the public intellectuals who founded The New Republic in 1914, Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann.  But Hughes just added himself to their journalistic tradition by acquiring a majority stake in the venerable opinion magazine and taking charge as its Publisher and Editor-In-Chief. Hughes, 28, tells readers there’s no need to worry that he’ll replace the magazine’s thoughtful reporting and analysis with the kind of snippets of information and opinion that are so common in social networks. Tablet computers and e-readers open “opportunities to reinvigorate the forms of journalism that examine the challenges of our time in all their complexity,” he says today in a letter to readers. “Although the method of delivery of important ideas has undergone drastic change over the past 15 years, the hunger for them has not dissipated.” Opinion magazines are famous for being money pits, but Hughes told NPR this morning that he’s confident TNR “can be profitable” — although he adds that it’s “not going to be the next Facebook.”