SnapStream Blog

The Importance of Video To Traditional Newspaper Companies

January 27 2022 by Kevin Johnson

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While the exact beginning point of journalism is subject to debate, one thing remains clear; there's a continuous evolution of methodology and processes.

Undeniably, one of the intriguing conversations in the journalism space revolves around technology. The debate is precisely on the role of digital resources in changing how the industry creates news and how consumers digest it.

From print journalism to radio, television, and the current influence of digital platforms, news delivery has significantly changed. Mediums that were once viable communication tools face the choice of adapt or fade away. More innovative content delivery methods have come into the limelight — and video is the anchor.

Emerging Technologies in News Creation and Delivery

Video is one of the technologies changing the journalism industry. Whether it's the creation of Facebook Live or the addition of Snapchat Discovery, there's a difference in how audiences absorb information.

Besides, outlets like Mashable are doing all they can to solidify the growing focus on video. Recently, BuzzFeed took steps to separate its video content into BuzzFeed News and BuzzFeed Entertainment. Similar outcomes may unfold in other news outlets soon.

Will Video Kill Print Media or Save It?

As content and news delivery evolves, print publishers are finding it hard to compete with free material in the form of video. While this new technology is a threat, it also provides a significant opportunity.

One of the most significant threats is that online publications heavily rely on advertising, yet he prevalence of ad blocking technologies and small screens has mad that challenging. The money that comes from print advertising can directly pressure the publisher's credibility and user experience. Quality and reputation can suffer from great reliance on "sponsored content."

After recognizing the inadequacy of giving away free, ad-sponsored content, some sites resort to a subscription paywall. Unfortunately, paywalls reduce organic search traffic as selling subscriptions is challenging, given the abundance of free materials.

Overall, none of the current methods of news monetization and information content has proved to be successful. It's not clear if they can support creating and maintaining the required websites.

How Traditional Newspaper Companies Can Benefit by Incorporating Video

The effectiveness of news delivery depends on how people consume it. Witty news coverage needs to assume that people are not stuck on a newspaper edition the day after.

Instead, the general assumption should be that they're reading on their mobile devices soon after events happen. Mostly, this is after reading the breaking news headline on platforms like Twitter or after getting a push alert to their inboxes or phones.

When there's news describing a specific moment in an event, people want to watch it immediately. Their devices make this possible for them, which is why everyone in the news business must move toward that. In addition to tweeting photos, they must incorporate embedded videos on their home sites.

That brings in the importance of getting better at being multimedia producers while being careful not to overdo it. The truth is, while video provides content, it doesn't necessarily explain to the audience what is happening. That means written journalism is far from over, and the task at hand is to adapt to the new and necessary space created by the overall changing media space.

Newspaper companies are forming teams and sub-organizations to curate video as part of the bigger part of their operations. This way, they can monetize with video ads, which marketers love, and which they can repurpose on social media, especially on Facebook.

While this might push some people to watch more and read less, there will always be an audience for longer-form written content. People still have room for reading hot-take editorial pieces.

Incorporating video into every online news post has become a huge priority, but written editorials won't disappear. The main reason for the growing video content is that companies get more ad revenue from video pre-rolls than from online ads.

A Natural Fit Between Topical Articles and Related Videos

There's a natural fit between written content and related videos. Well-chosen videos effectively enhance the reader's experience. A video can boost a story's claim, provide much-needed comic relief, or demonstrate a complex concept.

For example, think of a golf magazine that creates an associated video channel. By combining instructional and competition videos from experts, members can easily buy a subscription revolving around the sport.

It will have a more significant impact than having videos of a particular tournament or golf pro. With such a channel, the publication would have reinforcement while creating a source of revenue.

Publishers can be in the perfect position to perform the essential task of aggregation and curation. They can put their editorial expertise into use to enhance their publications while adding credibility to the videos they choose.

Another benefit of video is that it's easy to protect yourself from piracy. When a publication incorporates video, it reduces the risk of losing revenue to social media sites and independent aggregators.

Technology Has Made Communication Through Video Cheaper

Video is integral to how organizations tell stories and is the younger audience's language. Writing and reporting will always be crucial to journalism. However, how that writing translates into content the audience can easily digest will continue to evolve through 360 videos, video, virtual reality, and augmented reality.

The transition is possible because technology has made communication through video cheaper and more accessible. Whether through the phone in everyone's pocket or the equipment in a news organization, video content will always be available.

Instead of expecting the audience to tune in at a specific time to connect with their news segment, media houses now have to deliver content right where the audience is. The delivery should also be in the way the audience wants to receive it.

If you want to enhance your written news content with video content, you need the right software. At SnapStream, we can give you the workspace to create original TV clips for your productions and social media channels. Click this link to learn more.

The State of Local News

January 11 2022 by Kevin Johnson

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For over two centuries, the for-profit business model that sustained local journalism in the United States has been challenged by technological and economic forces. For years, local news outlets have struggled to survive because of advertising-based models, but the COVID-19 pandemic and recession have created an "extinction-level" threat. 

In thousands of communities, residents live in vast news deserts because one-fourth of the country's newspapers have disappeared. There is fear that the local news ecosystem in the country may collapse. Over 60 local newsrooms across the country had closed by February 2021, including large chains (CNHI) and many owned for generations.

In contrast, the San Francisco-based company Substack has made headlines by luring high-profile journalists away from established news outlets with a subscription system for digital newsletters. Some of its journalists bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars from subscriptions, including Vox co-founder Matthew Yglesias, Rolling Stone contributor Matt Taibbi, BuzzFeed senior technology reporter Alex Kantrowitz, and the New Republic climate reporter Emily Atkin.

How Can Other Local News Houses Leverage And Navigate The Changing Times?

For journalists, the Internet's growth as a means of disseminating news added more duties to their daily routines. However, it has profoundly impacted how news houses format broadcast news and consumers' expectations regarding access to information.

James P. Mahon, a reporter at WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, says traditional TV news will be gone in 15 years, but audiences will still crave authentic stories. "It will probably be a cross-platform service offering bite-sized stories in real-time with visuals. 

With today's instant news access, events reported at 2PM are already dated by the traditional audience view time of 6PM. People want their Twitter and Facebook feeds to be available. Millennials use their phones 24/7. Many buy Wi-Fi subscriptions instead of cable."

Retooling the Newsroom

In the same way that consumers have shifted the tools they use to get information, newsrooms have adopted alternate tools for presenting and gathering news. Both Facebook and Twitter have integrated deeply into news gathering and presentation.

Despite the importance of newscasts, Will Tran, a reporter at KRON 4 TV in San Francisco, says Twitter, Facebook, and our website are better ways to communicate information these days. Reporter Tran, who starts his day early at 2 a.m. and wraps up the news at 5 a.m., hosts a gregarious morning show. With added humor to his posts, he regularly posts to social media outlets.

Online Live Streaming

Broadcasters have embraced live-streaming apps to reach the youthful demographic that is attracted to these services. Media gathering has become easier with platforms which allow users worldwide to share live video. This is especially true for TV stations, which can use the feeds on-air.

Mahon says they use Periscope and Ustream every week. In the event of breaking news and extreme weather conditions, viewers will have direct access to emergency press conferences."

Stations realize no one will wait around for noon or 1 p.m. newscast to report a breaking story that happened at noon or 1 p.m., Tran adds. Everyone knows that no one watches the news anymore.

To be successful on social media, you must also be a heavy hitter. Social media is the vehicle running the news now. Local news stations need to hop on and ensure they bring their viewers along and make it snappy. The generation is full of skimmers.

News Tailored to Local News Viewers' Interests

Besides streaming services, consumers now expect a personalized experience when engaging with online content. According to Mahon, online streaming services, such as Roku, Hulu, and Netflix, have changed how we interact with audiences by providing them with niche customized programming when and how they want it.

Previously, journalists merely focused on delivering specialized news for a local audience. Creating a few newscasts each day for all viewers meant putting together a few shows each day. However, technology makes it possible for businesses to learn about visitors to their websites and deliver customized information. 

One-size-fits-all delivery of information has become more difficult because of this change. In the future, news outlets will find new ways to deliver content based on visitor interests as personalization becomes more prevalent.

Creating Business Connections

Consumers are now consuming more information. Businesses can learn from this. Companies need to ensure they reach consumers in the most effective way possible with the explosion of online marketing. The Internet has generated a broader audience for businesses of all kinds, just as it has benefited local news outlets.

News outlets and marketing specialists need to adapt their messaging formats as wearables make consumers even more mobile-focused. Consumers are becoming more demanding as they receive concise and personalized news. Marketers and journalists need to connect with consumers in this fierce competition for attention.

Will Local News Survive?

As local news reinvents itself to meet the challenges of the 21st century, new policies and regulations must acknowledge the interconnectedness of its journalistic mission with its business model and technological capabilities. Consolidation in the news and technology industries has resulted in a few corporate titans—with no clue of their decisions' impact on the communities they serve—making majority-owned news outlets and big-time technology companies the decision-makers. 

As polarized as our nation is, addressing these issues is fraught with controversy. Coordination of national, state, and local efforts is essential to success.

Small towns and big cities make up the United States. 

Whether in a high-rise apartment in Manhattan or on a farm near Manhattan, Kansas, the American system of governance relies on a reliable flow of information to its 330 million residents. According to Professor Victor Pickard's book Democracy Without Journalism, communities need local journalism to keep in touch with what is happening in their backyards - especially in their schools, their governments, and other critical institutions. 

On the local news, they learn about the quality of their environment - whether their air and water are safe - and who is vying for local office. Despite this, local news is rapidly disappearing. Society must support this sort of reporting if we wish to encourage it."

Feature Friday: Emily Rutledge

December 17 2021 by Bethany Goldson

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Hey SnapStream Fam! Here at SnapStream, our people are everything and we like to show them off. This week, we'd like to introduce you to our incredible Team Lead for Customer Success, Emily!

How did you find SnapStream?

Funny story! A previous coworker of mine was interviewing for the role and ultimately took another route - but not before she put me in touch with the hiring manager. There were so many little things that just clicked throughout my interview process and I knew SnapStream was the right place for me. Turns out, the previous coworker who initially took another route recently joined my team here! It's funny how life works out sometimes.

What is your role here?

I was hired into the role of Sr. Customer Success Manager and I was recently promoted to lead our Customer Success team! I really love diving in with our customers and learning more about how they use their system to capture and share the moments most important to them. Our Customer Success team is also responsible for implementation, onboarding, training, driving value/engagement and really being the quarterback and voice for our customers here on the SnapStream side.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

I think a better question is how haven't I grown! I started in April 2021 and I continue to learn something new about our company, customers and the industry every single day. Our company values at SnapStream also definitely contribute to the growth mentality I've come to love here. While they all resonate with me, my current favorite is 'Experiment Without Fear.' It helps to remind me that if something doesn’t work out like we thought it would, it’s ok to pivot and try a different approach.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

My favorite thing about SnapStream are the people - my coworkers and customers. One thing that was very obvious to me early on at SnapStream is the dedication to our customers and their experience with not only our product but our people as well. I get to work with really smart, kind and collaborative people each and every day working towards the same mission, and it feels good!

What do you like to do when you aren't at SnapStream?

My family and I like to see live music, hike, garden, travel, cook, play video games and play outside in our neighborhood. I personally like to read and watch TV shows/movies in my downtime. I also love to make clay earrings when I have some free time and am feeling creative! I just got my first cross-stitch kit, so we'll see how that goes.

What Is News Avoidance and How Can You Avoid It?

December 09 2021 by Kevin Johnson

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The Reuters Institute has reported an upsurge in the number of people that actively avoid the news. News avoidance is a growing problem that threatens not just the media industry but democracy at large. While news avoidance still existed in earlier years, the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled this trend and worsened an already bad situation.

In early 2020 when news of the pandemic first hit, most of the world sought answers and information on the pandemic from news sources. Initially, there was an increase in news consumption, but this changed as the pandemic progressed. Some people, feeling stressed and helpless about the situation, began to avoid the news because of the anxiety it caused them. 

In this article, we will be discussing news avoidance, its effects, and how to get back the news avoidant consumers.

What Is News Avoidance And What Causes It?

News avoidance refers to intentionally resisting news. News avoidant people will either altogether avoid the news or drastically reduce the amount of information they consume. To understand news avoidance, we have to delve into its causes.

They include:

Information Overload

With social media and 24-hour news cycles, it has become effortless to access the news at any time and any place. While this has been good news to some people, others have felt overwhelmed by the constant barrage of news. Consequently, many people have chosen to avoid the news as a way of easing their information overload.

Distrust of the Media

Edelman's trust barometer found that 61% of Americans are skeptical about the objectivity of the media. The people questioned in the study believed that the media had a problem with remaining unbiased and non-partisan in their reporting. 

The mainstream media has also faced accusations of fuelling misinformation with the New York Congresswoman casting an accusatory finger at it for spreading the misinformation that contributed to the January 6 riots. As a result, this growing distrust in the media has triggered news avoidance in some people.

Negative News

From a pandemic to capital riots, the news headlines are often brimming with negative stories.  The grim news stories covering the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on people's mental health. Consequently, some individuals opt to avoid the news to avoid the anxiety it gives them.

How Does News Avoidance Affect Media Organisations?

Media organizations are the biggest casualties of news avoidance, they have been impacted in the following ways:

Loss of consumers

The news industry's consumers consist of individuals who read, watch, or listen to the news. 

The media industry has been dealt a massive blow since 41% of Americans claim they sometimes avoid the news. A rise in news avoidance spells a decrease in the size of the news industry's market.

 A smaller market size means that fewer people will be buying news products such as newspapers and online subscriptions, which threatens the money-making power of media companies, thus threatening their existence and well-being.

Loss of advertising revenue

Media organizations also rely on advertisement for revenue, and the rise of news aversion has affected their ability to raise this revenue.

News aversion has caused a decline in the number of people consuming the news yet advertisers want to place their ads on platforms where they will receive the most attention. This has resulted in advertisers pulling out from traditional media, and instead opting to place their ads on other more popular platforms. 

This loss of revenue could mean layoffs for people working in the media, as organizations seek to cut expenses.

How Do We Solve News Avoidance?

Given the threat news avoidance poses to media organizations, there is a pressing need to find lasting solutions to the problem that address the causes of news avoidance. 

Constructive journalism

While the media can't solely focus on positive news, negative news can still be countered by practicing constructive journalism. Constructive journalism is a method of reporting that involves finding solutions and highlighting examples that have been proven work.

Constructive journalism addresses the problem of sensationalized news, and it eliminates a lot of the negativity in the news. As a result, adopting constructive journalism will help bring back avoidant news consumers that shun the news for its negative nature.

Increasing transparency

Now more than ever, there is a need to separate opinion from facts. More people have become distrustful of the objectivity of the news. Consequently,  journalists face the daunting task of preventing their personal views from seeping into their work. 

Moreover, journalists can earn the trust of the public by being transparent with the public.  One way of achieving transparency is educating the public on the fact-checking process followed by journalists. Doing this will reduce public skepticism on the integrity of the news reported and reduce news avoidance based on distrust of the media.

In-Depth journalism

While speed is often the goal for news publishers, information overload can be countered by bridging old-school long-form reporting with new-age social media articles. It involves publishing more in-depth stories in lieu of little-researched pieces. The British Tortoise Media is an example of a news provider that has successfully implemented this reporting style.

Media organizations can also solve information overload by publishing newsletters or producing podcasts that summarize the day's biggest stories. The New York Times has adopted this strategy on their platform – The Daily.

Conclusion

News avoidance is a rising trend that the COVID-19 has amplified. If left unaddressed, news avoidance poses a risk to the profitability and existence of the media industry. There is a need to address the causes of news avoidance. Journalists and the entire media at large have to be innovative in fighting the news avoidance menace.

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Feature Friday: Amy Vara

November 30 2021 by Bethany Goldson

Wassup SnapStreamers, it's time for Feature Friday! Here at SnapStream, our people are everything and we like to show them off. This week, we'd like to introduce you to our demand generation manager, Amy! 

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How did you find SnapStream?

The Houston tech scene is a pretty tight-knit group, so I had been aware of SnapStream for many years as I knew some former colleagues who had worked here in the past. I was formally introduced to SnapStream by my marketing mentor about a year ago. We kept the lines of communication open, and when the time was right, I made the move to join SnapStream's marketing team.

What is your role here?

My title is Demand Generation Manager, which covers a wide range of functions, but digital marketing is a key component of my role. This includes driving people to our website through online advertising (you know, those ads that follow you around the internet because you visited a website) and paid social (seeing ads on Twitter or LinkedIn because you fit a certain profile on your social media platform), or content syndication (making sure the awesome blogs, videos, ebooks, and webinars that Kevin Johnson and Sara Eck create are seen by our target market). I also cover Hubspot administration and marketing operations/analytics to understand what's contributing to the sales pipeline and how. 

How have you grown with SnapStream? 

I'm learning a lot about advertising on social media platforms. In other companies, while social was part of my overall marketing strategy, it was generally executed by another team member or an agency. You can read all the best practices or Twitter Flight School or LinkedIn Learning, but when you get hands-on experience with campaigns, it highlights how some things really work or really don't. I like that one of SnapStream's core values is Experiment Without Fear so that we can try new things to engage and attract followers.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream? 

SnapStream works hard to foster a culture that is thriving as a remote-first organization. Monthly all-hands meetings help keep employees connected to our core business goals and values. The Slack channels devoted to dogs, food & drink, and random thoughts about NFTs or cryptocurrency, as well as Donut-Friends, help you get to know coworkers you may not normally encounter in your everyday workday. 

What do you like to do when you aren't at SnapStream? 

Spending time with my husband, Felix, is at the top of my list. We like to cook and are always trying new things. He's been on a French cooking streak lately, so it's been hard for me to keep up! When we're not cooking, we like to travel, take in a baseball game, go to the movies (is that still a thing?), nerd out on technology stuff, and occasionally attend live theater. Our favorite musical is Jersey Boys, and we see A Christmas Carol every December. 

Getting in Deep: The Cost and Danger of Deepfakes in the Media and Beyond

November 18 2021 by Kevin Johnson

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We live in a time when technology rules everything around us, and, for the most part, it has helped all of us live better lives. It has done everything from keeping us connected to making us healthier, but one of the most significant changes technology has brought is how we consume our news. Now, more than ever, people are getting their news from video sources, which is fantastic because it allows more information to be shared in condensed chunks.

For decades, video has been the gold standard of visual news because, unlike pictures, it couldn't be manipulated, but all good things must end. The foundation of deep fakes can be traced back to the 1990s, but they didn't get their name until 2017, three years after Ph.D. graduate student Ian Goodfellow created generative adversarial networks (GAN), a key component to today's deep fakes. These initially harmless fake videos have morphed into something far more nefarious in just a few short years, from people stealing celebrity faces to endorse their products to people trying to frame politicians.

The rise of the deep fake has hit the news industry the hardest as it makes it more challenging than ever to verify if a source is legitimate in an "if you're not first, you're last" industry. The news is a pillar in a democratic society, so it is not like they can throw in the towel and be defeated by 21st-century technology. Instead, agencies are learning new strategies to prevent, detect, and adapt to this new-age threat. 

What's the Big Deal?

Who cares if a few news agencies get egg on their face by sharing a fake video every once in a while, right? Wrong! The ramifications of these altered videos are dangerous and possibly even life-threatening, and we've already seen their effects. One of the most famous examples was the Tom Cruise deep fakes that took the world by storm and had people all over the internet convinced that Tom Cruise had been making his own music for his movies. Then there was a State Farm ad that claimed to show a video from the 90s that made shockingly accurate predictions about 2020; it turned out that the video was a deep fake as well. While these are innocuous examples, it is terrifying how many people believe them to be authentic. 

Deep fakes could cause unknown amounts of damage in the wrong hands, from ruining someone's life to starting a war. For example, imagine if hackers went on live television with a deep fake of the POTUS saying that we have already sent nukes towards China. The Chinese government isn't going to stop to authenticate a video if they think it is under the threat of imminent attack. That example may be a worst-case scenario, but more realistic scenarios aren't that much better in the long run. 

Perhaps, the biggest threat that deep fakes pose right now is the erosion of trust. Soon, people won't be able to tell if what they are watching is real or fake, which will lead to a blanket distrust of visual news media. While that idea sounds terrifying to ad revenue, it also paves the way for people to ignore when real news is happening around them. 

The Cost of Deep Fakes

There is no way to pinpoint how much deep fakes will end up costing businesses and the government, considering it's still a relatively new technology, but it is reported that deep fakes cost companies upwards of 250 million in 2020. One such example was in 2019 when the CEO of an English energy company took a phone call from who he thought was the CEO of the company's parent company asking for an emergency fund transfer to another company to the tune of $243,000. The problem was that it wasn't the CEO of the parent company; it was fraudsters using deep fake audio technology to mimic his voice. The money was then moved multiple times, and the culprits were never caught - another problem with the future of digital crimes that can be carried out anywhere in the world. 

How Do You Detect a Deep Fake?

The first and most important step to combating deep fakes is to detect when a video has been faked, which is easier said than done. However, the problem is at the heart of how deep fake technology functions - it is an AI learning platform that is meant to learn from and beat detection to create a more perfect image every time. According to the author of the book Deepfakes, Nina Schick:

"This is always going to be a game of cat and mouse, because just as soon as you build a detection model that can detect one kind of deepfake, there will be a generator that will be able to beat that detector." 

She likened the idea to antivirus software which needs to constantly be updated to detect the newest threats. Schick suggests that instead of telling if videos have been faked, the more straightforward answer is to validate that a video is real. This can be done with hardware that, in essence, leaves a digital watermark that indicates the location the video was shot and if it has been manipulated in any way.  Unfortunately, it seems as though deep fake technology is here to stay, and there will never be an easy solution. However, computer scientists are constantly working on new ways to make it easier for governments and news agencies to detect fakes efficiently. 

It's Not Going Away

The deep fake dilemma will likely only get worse. They pose a real threat to the news community and the community at large, and there will be many challenges in the future as these fakes become more sophisticated and cheaper to create. Companies will likely have to develop a multi-tiered defense against deep fake threats. One place to start is getting your media from trusted sources via SnapStream. A trusted video source will give you more confidence in your reporting and cut valuable time from your "information-to-on-air" chain. Until there is some way to stop them, the deep fakers will fake, and it is up to us to differentiate the fakes from the real thing. 

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Feature Friday: Fred Arters

October 29 2021 by Bethany Goldson

Hey world, it's time for feature Friday! Here at SnapStream, our people are everything and we like to show them off. This week, we'd like to introduce you to our engineering lead, Fred!

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How did you find SnapStream?

I found SnapStream on Indeed while searching for full-time remote positions. The listing caught my eye because the logo was made out of Legos and I immediately thought... I fit in a company that would do that!

What is your role here?

I've held several roles in the past 6 months, though my primary position has remained as Senior Software Engineer. Additionally I have been given the opportunity to act as the team lead for our Wyld Stallyns development team. I've had the great opportunity to be an acting member of the SnapStream product team where I hope to contribute to the future of SnapStream in a very material way.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

Over the past six months, I have learned a lot about the Amazon Web Services ecosystem as working on publicly available products and services has not been a part of my prior experience. Coming from previous jobs where I was much more insulated as an engineer, I've learned a great deal about the ins and outs of product development while spending part of my time on our product team. SnapStream has definitely provided me opportunities to learn many new things.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

When I was going through the interview process, one of the most attractive aspects was the intentionality and focus on culture and personal interactivity. While in some ways it has been a challenge to enter into an established company with many existing working relationships, I have been made to feel welcomed and it is still one of the things I appreciate about the company the most.

What do you like to do when you aren't at SnapStream?

When I am not at SnapStream, I like to spend time with my family. My 5 kids all play music at different levels and as they have learned, I too continue to learn to play music with them. I have also infected them all with a love for pc gaming, which is not good for my budget but great for shared interest - my girls pretty much only play games with horses in them. I also love quality time with my wife, hiking, going to music festivals and reading.

Misinformation Madness: Can We Trust The News?

October 21 2021 by Kevin Johnson

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Determining which news stories are misinformation versus which are fair and accurate is a challenging task. Fact checking -- which used to be the sole responsibility of news outlets, is beginning to fall on the shoulders of the audience.  In today’s flood of misinformation, ensuring the veracity of news content and sources is more critical than ever.

Unfortunately, misinformation in journalism is not a new concept. At times, some news outlets and personalities have taken information out of context or leaned on unreliable sources in an effort to break a story first or to cater to their base. 

Let’s take a look at news misinformation, how common it is, and how COVID-19 perpetuated misinformation in 2020 and 2021. 

What is Misinformation?

Misinformation can refer to a wide range of false information or information taken out of context. Sometimes it's the spread of untrue facts, and other times, it's propaganda geared to make society scared or distrusting. 

With the rise of social media, propaganda and conspiracy theories have seen a major uprising that has caused some to become skeptical and weary. 

Now that anybody with a social media account can share “news”, there is more misinformation than ever before. Journalism is no longer exclusively in the hands of ethical experts that are diligent in conducting fair and accurate research. People without journalistic credentials can easily spread information among the masses. 

This is a scary truth for those absorbing news and information. The responsibility has now fallen into the hands of the consumer to fact check information and resources before falling into the trap of believing the news they’ve been presented. 

Despite this, misinformation spreads far beyond propagandists and conspiracy theorists. In fact, reputable news sources can fall victim to spreading misinformation. As a journalist tackles a story, the context of every fact must be taken into consideration before sharing. Without fullying researching and understanding the story behind news, photos, or clips, the journalist is unable to accurately convey the true message. 

Frequency of Misinformation 

According to Letter.ly, in quarter 3 of 2020 alone, there were 1.8 billion reported fake news engagements on Facebook alone. This includes propaganda, conspiracy theories, or information taken out of context. 

Letter.ly suggests that 52% of Americans have reported encountering fake news. Yet it is difficult for consumers to determine between fake news and real news, especially if the fake news aligns with their beliefs and biases.

These statistics are both alarming and harrowing. As fake news spreads on social media, it can easily gain traction and go “viral” lending an unofficial credibility “by the numbers” in the court of social opinion.

Trust Among News Outlets 

As consumers are becoming more aware of fake news, trust among news outlets has taken a hit. This presents a problem for responsible and reputable news companies that have dedicated their livelihoods to providing accurate, reliable information to their viewers. 

According to Statista, trust in news outlets varies significantly depending on the country. The United States has one of the lowest trust ratings, at only 29% of people reporting that they trust the news media. 

Interestingly, the Coronavirus pandemic has had a rebound effect on consumers and their trust in news media. According to the 2021 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, trust in news media has improved by 6%. This is promising for media outlets but there is still a long way to go to fully capture the populations’ confidence. 

Journalist Responsibilities 

One of the best ways to avoid misinformation is to require journalists to take responsibility for their work. Maintaining strong journalism and news media ethics is necessary to continue to see a rise in media trust. 

Each newsroom should abide by  traditional editorial standards. This ensures that the journalists and news outlets carefully comb through their sources and information to ensure they are only reporting news that is completely true and factual. 

Can We Trust The News?

In short, the answer is yes. However, it's the consumer's responsibility to ensure that they follow reputable sources that take pride in the veracity of what they report. Though there is a lot of misinformation out there, there are plenty of reliable sources dedicated to providing accurate news to the masses. 

Misinformation is more common on social media apps, such as Facebook. However, it's important to note that social networking can remain a safe place to get accurate information if you're following news outlets that have secured a reputation for being reliable.

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How COVID-19 Impacted News Consumption

October 07 2021 by Kevin Johnson

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There’s no doubt that the world at large has changed drastically since March 2020. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, change has become the constant in our lives. Work became remote, people became quarantined, businesses suffered, and news media consumption took several interesting turns.

With constant updates regarding the pandemic, there has been an influx of viewers seeking comfort, refuge, and information through news media. The Reuters Institute's Digital News Report for 2021, unearthed several key findings. We will discuss four ways that COVID-19 has changed news consumption. 

Shift to Digital 

Some sources suggest that screen time has drastically increased during the pandemic. In fact, HR News reported that time on mobile devices had gone up a whopping 76% since the start of the pandemic. This statistic shows that people have drastically increased the time they spend searching the web and social media. 

Because of this, viewers are constantly seeking access to news on their mobile devices. Scrolling through media to read updates, news articles, and videos is common for those seeking information about COVID-19.

According to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report, data suggests that significant attention is brought to mainstream outlets through Facebook and Twitter's ever-popular platforms. This presents an alternate avenue (than TV and newspapers) for news media companies to stay relevant, reach their target audience, and develop engaging content. 

A Demand for Accessible Updates

COVID-19 changed the perceived pace of news. Information from the morning could drastically change by the evening. With scientists and doctors constantly learning new information and politicians consistently trying to make adequate decisions for their countries, few things remained static. 

Because of the nature of the unknown, people were constantly seeking answers by searching the web and social media. This provided a sense of stability and comfort during a difficult time. 

The mass hysteria and fear have led to viewers wanting on-demand, accessible updates. Now more than ever, viewers want to log onto social media and have the most recent update at their fingertips. 

This presented a unique challenge for journalists and news outlets. There was a constant need to stay updated on politicians’ announcements and scientific developments. Beating other news media companies to the punch, to deliver updates first, was essential to become a reputable and trusted source. 

Decline in Print Demand 

Publishing and delivering print posed a unique challenge through the pandemic. While still respected, traditionally printed media has struggled to keep up with the on-demand nature that viewers now expect. According to Reuters Institute Digital News Report:

“print newspapers have seen a further sharp decline almost everywhere as lockdowns impacted physical distribution, accelerating the shift towards a mostly digital future”. 

Public Avoidance 

To say that COVID-19 was full of discouraging information and pessimism is an understatement. News has traditionally highlighted tragic information. The traditional credo "if it bleeds, it ledes" is known for a reason -- it's an effective way to increase viewership and engagement. However, with the pandemic dominating the news cycle, consumption of negative news reached higher levels.

Because of this, some viewers opted to avoid the news alltogether. This was likely a necessary decision based on mental wellness and to avoid overwhelm. However, this trend, of course, worried news outlets. 

To combat this, news organizations had to weigh how they could implement more positive, engaging, and uplifting ways to deliver information. Instead of focusing on the gloom of the situations, outlets could put a positive spin on the current state of the world. 

Conclusion

Many businesses had to pivot to survive during the pandemic. This was no different for news media. In order to survive, thrive, and overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19, media outlets had to change their methods and timelines of providing reliable information to viewers. 

Though this presented difficulties, many news outlets rose to the occasion by staying on-trend and altering protocols and processes when necessary.

 

Want to break news faster to keep up with the demand? Check out how SnapStream can help you be the first on Social Media with our cloud-based news and media workspace!

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What is SnapStream? (Spoiler alert: A cloud-based news and media workspace)

October 04 2021 by Kevin Johnson

So, what exactly is SnapStream? We are a cloud-based news and media workspace that gives you superpowers! We're how late night shows and major news organizations get those TV clips for their productions and social media channels. Learn more by watching this brief video!

 

Want to try the original news media video workspace for yourself? Try us free for 7 days to search and clip the biggest news moments as they happen.

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What is SnapStream? There's an unlimited amount of video content out there: 24/7 news channels, breaking news events, sports, talk shows, awards galas, entertainment shows, and so much more.

SnapStream makes a real-time news and media search engine that makes it fast and easy to find the video moments that support our customers telling great stories.

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