Surely Harper’s will be watching Buzzfeed closely — Steinberg’s fellow panelist, Harper’s vice president of public relations Jason Chupick, seemed defeated and lost as he described how the digital transition has been “really, really hard” for the 162-year-old magazine. Chupick believes that tablets are the future of longform journalism, but admitted that Harper’s is still stuck with a “stop-gap” of pdf versions of its print content. “We have to find a way to sell it better,” he said. Meanwhile, Steinberg praised the individual journalist/entrepreneurs who have successfully branded and “sold” themselves: people like Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith and Nate Silver. “I don’t know what these guys do,” he admitted; “but I know that it’s extraordinary.”

 

Sara Morrison is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @saramorrison.