SnapStream Blog

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! 

amyandfelixv

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

DeepFake

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

factfake

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

shutterstock_1680776038 [Converted]

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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Feature Friday: Sarah Eck

September 24 2021 by Bethany Goldson

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Well, hello there! Here at SnapStream, our people are everything and we like to show them off. This week, we'd like to introduce you to our leader of the Fantastic Four marketing team, Sarah:

How did you find SnapStream?

A former colleague of mine - who is also a dear friend - is based in Houston and introduced me to Rakesh. My degree is in journalism and I've always been a huge nerd for news and media, so I was excited to find an organization focused on that space.

What is your role here?

One of marketing's chief roles is to keep a pulse on what motivates our customers and prospects and to be a voice within the organization for how we can find new ways to make our customer's lives better and forge deeper connections with them. As VP of Marketing, I'm a champion for the SnapStream brand across all our channels to ensure we are connecting with the right customers to continue to grow the business. I also make sure my rock star team is enabled, empowered, and free of roadblocks so they can do their best work.

How have you grown with SnapStream?

What's crazy is that I've only been here for 9 months, but I feel like we've covered so much ground in that time. I learn new things from my team every day, and am definitely stronger in demand generation, data analysis, web development, and video production than ever. Plus I've gained a deep appreciation for what news and media professionals face in trying to grab audience share and engagement in the current environment. SnapStream has also afforded me the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and really dig into what it takes to be a digital publisher with a small team trying to create great content at scale.

What is your favorite thing about SnapStream?

Everyone probably says this - we have awesome people here. We're a smart, funny, eclectic, resourceful bunch. And even though I'm based in Dallas and don't get to see teammates in person very often, I still feel connected to everyone.

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

Hobbies became a memory once my twin boys were born 4.5 years ago. When I'm not working, you can usually find me outside with the kiddos, my husband, and our greyhound Rufus. Given a few minutes to myself, I love to do crossword puzzles and read. And once my sons are a bit older, I hope to get back to my main passion - dance.

Problems with Modern Journalism

September 22 2021 by Celina Dawdy

 

Problems with Modern Journalism

shutterstock_745095733 [Converted]

Over the past decade, the delivery methods for journalism have changed significantly. As traditional delivery channels, like the newspaper, get consumed less frequently, news organizations have had to change how they reach their audience. 

 

SnapStream recently met with John Battelle from The Recount. Calling upon his successful career, John shared his thoughts and ideas about modern journalism. John’s team was a pioneer in providing digestible, engaging information in the form of short videos on the internet. His method has spread like wildfire and provided significant interactions and engagement. 

With massive changes in broadcasting and journalism, many problems have arisen. We discuss, six main concerns that need to be examined to ensure a fair and adequate approach to sharing the news:

Misinformation

With more people having access to information sharing, more misinformation is shared than ever before. Media is now out of the hands of the passionate experts that founded their careers on active research and understanding. As this new wave of media has taken over, anybody can share information, and that information can spread among the masses. John details:

“Journalism has essentially been hijacked by extremely sophisticated and sometimes unsophisticated disinformation and misinformation campaigns,” John continues, “You have the ability to create missing disinformation and then distribute it as quickly as that clip we were talking about, which is, in fact, journalism, that every frame of that clip has been verified to be true and accurate. When you have that kind of speed where 100,000 people can see something in half an hour, and then 10 million people can see it by the end of the day - you have something that is a very big concern.” 

Misinformation goes beyond poor journalism and internet trolls trying to get a rise. In fact, it can occur when a team doesn’t fully understand or convey the context of a clip or photo. The context behind each source is as important, if not more important, than the source itself. 

John weighs on the importance of ethics in journalism:

 “There’s actually no secret to it. It’s just called editorial standards. This is what every newsroom has, and hopefully always will. You want to make sure you’re not pulling things out of context and that you’re delivering accurate information. And if you have a process by which you get it wrong, you acknowledge that and correct it.” 

More Bias

Today, people can consume information directly from social media. Because of this, there is a broadening chasm in content sources, driven by the individual consumer. This can create siloed thinking and foster source bias.

For example, if an individual appreciates the information shared from one particular source, they can “subscribe” to it and see everything else that source shares. People often subscribe to networks and information producers that support their political, moral, or ethical beliefs. This results in them no longer consuming information that doesn’t support their bias. 

According to Helpful Professor

“Without the need to have widespread mass appeal, new media target dispersed niche and ideological markets. Conservatives begin to only consume conservative media; and liberals only consume liberal media. People begin to only reinforce their personal views, causing social polarization.”  

Of course, this presents a significant issue and pushes people of various views further apart. People are less apt to consume information that doesn’t support their beliefs, resulting in them becoming more polarized. 

Monetization 

With streaming and new delivery mechanisms for media, the way news sources get paid also had to change. Traditionally, there were two revenue streams for linear television. Says John:

“One of them is cable carriage. So CNN gets paid a lot of money by the cable operators to run CNN on the bundle that they’re selling to their cable subscribers. The second, of course, is advertising.” 

Both traditional streams of revenue resulted in getting paid to be included - not watched. As long as your station or show created enough hype to get people interested, then you would see a paycheck coming in. This, however, has changed dramatically with modern television. 

According to John, modern media follows a new model:

“What we need, and fortunately, what we have is venture capital, which is risk capital that is willing to pay for the costs of making what you make. The revenue models start to get established in a turbulent and disrupting market. That’s exactly what television news is right now. That doesn’t mean we don’t have any revenue. We have event revenue, newsletter revenue, and revenue on social platforms.” 

However, monetization in modern media isn’t perfected by any means. It has a long way to go. John states:

 “I think individual creators should be able to make as much money as possible. But the truth is that media companies are very important players in the platform space. And to date, platforms have done a terrible job of supporting at-scale media companies. So, hopefully that’ll change over the next few years.” 

John also touched on the hope that advertising revenue will eventually be more readily available. 

Heavy Competition 

With traditional media, there were major players in the field, and small-time media outlets had a difficult time coming up. Though this was bad news for smaller outlets, it managed the amount (and quality) of information that the audience received. People weren’t as bombarded with news and didn’t require to sift through several different sources to find the truth. 

With modern media, there is heavy competition. Any individual or small media company can suddenly share information to the masses. As recently stated, this has led to significant sharing of misinformation. However, it’s also created an unhealthy consumption for the average consumer. 

According to Helpful Professor, “Small websites with fresh takes for niche audiences popped up, crowding the market with information. In this crowded media market, there is competition in all niches, and brands need to have a fresh take to get attention.” 

This results in seeking an angry captive audience instead of truthseekers. John stated:

 “It’s time honored. Get them angry, get them pissed off that the other guy is wrong, right? Make them scared that the other guy might be right and they’re coming from you. And they’re going to take away your X, Y, Z.” 

Software Incapabilities

With moving online, news sources have had to say goodbye to old tools, resources, and software. News outlets now have to adapt to taking their business online. This includes an entire new set of technology to ensure their production goes smoothly. John discussed some of the struggles that The Recount Media has had in transitioning and areas that other outlets might face issue

 “If you’re a startup, you have to be very careful about whether or not you put resources towards something that is not core to your customer facing mission. Our customer facing mission is to answer important questions for our audience - not be built on robust enterprise software.” 

John continued on to discuss some of the software he’s implemented for a smooth transition, including Slack, the messaging system:

 “As a matter of fact, we’ve built on top of Slack, a production system, which automates a lot of our posting, publishing, arching, and certainly all of our editorial conversation around this clip and that clip. Slack is literally at the center of how we produce.” 

For new players in the game, finding software solutions and adapting to new technology might be difficult, but it’s a necessary movement for the success of the business. 

Children and Inappropriate Information

Now, more than ever before, children can access inappropriate news and information. In traditional media, adult-appropriate content would be shown in the evenings, when the children were to be in bed. Media powerhouses were careful to share appropriate information to keep their broadcast family-friendly. 

However, with social media being inundated with haunting news and unfortunate events, children can gain access to photos, text, and videos. Helpful Professor weighs in, “As children have greater access to adult information, the innocence of childhood is being decayed earlier than ever.” 

Conclusion

Needless to say, modern media has a long way to go before matching the strength, power, and editorial standard of traditional media. Despite this, there are several positives to there being a change of consumption and sharing. In order to ensure a more stable media future, outlets and individual creators must be aware of the six downfalls, and work together to combat them. 

Interested in more info about media bias?

Check out our article on how source bias impacts online media engagement and answer the question - was Marshall McLuhan right? Is the medium really the message?

 

 

Snapcademy Clip Tip 2: Export to Twitter

September 07 2021 by Kevin Johnson

New Snapcademy Clip Tip Alert! Snapcademy is a snackable series of bite-sized learnings showcasing how to fully utilize SnapStream's blazing-fast, online video workspace. Check out Lesson 2: Export to Twitter!

 

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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Neutralizing Media Bias: How The Media Research Center Uses SnapStream

September 02 2021 by Sarah Eck
MRC logo

The Media Research Center (MRC) is a Conservative media watchdog group on a mission to neutralize media bias. Formed in 1987, the organization monitors dozens of hours of news every single day across 10-12 channels. In this blog, we will take a brief look at how SnapStream helped the MRC reimagine its archiving and workflows, make the transition to digital, and finally say goodbye to the VCR.

The Challenges

The MRC started as a monthly newsletter reporting on liberal media bias. To create the the newsletter, MRC staff recorded hours of TV news on videotapes - remember those? - and watched the broadcasts to provide analysis and a more balanced view. This process eventually gave way to video cards and DVDs, but still left the MRC with the challenge of effectively managing and storing archived footage.

The old process also meant that each show or segment could only be watched by one staffer at a time. Collaboration was a challenge and the only way to access recorded footage was to be on site. It simply became too much to manage.

The Solution

The MRC initially implemented SnapStream's news and media video workspace for its ability to be a "super-sized DVR system" and remove the need for a physical archive. As the MRC transitioned from a paper newsletter to a blog, Twitter, and Facebook as its primary channels, SnapStream became an even more valuable asset for the team. MRC users routinely fill their Twitter feed with commentary about key moments as they are happening.

 


"Virtually all of our blog posts include video. And we're able to live tweet questions and answers from White House press conferences."

-Brent Baker, Vice President
Media Research Center

 



Using SnapStream, the MRC team has been able to deepen its bench of those monitoring and analyzing the news because multiple people can watch the same content at the same time. And, because the platform is so easy to use, the MRC even gets its interns onto the system to start monitoring media and pulling clips right out of the gate.

Control and flexibility also increased for the MRC through its use of SnapStream. The MRC's deep archive is now easily searchable and can be accessed by its team members from any location. 

 

The Result

With SnapStream, the Media Research Center is able to more quickly and effectively fulfill its mission of neutralizing media bias. The team is able to analyze and provide commentary on coverage of pivotal events such as The State of the Union or political primaries within minutes. 

The MRC has also been able to broaden its programs to monitor more types of news and video content and provide comprehensive analysis. The watchdog now has eight specific programs, more than 217,000 Twitter followers, and nearly 1.8 million followers on Facebook. Through all of its channels, the MRC generated an average of 449.6 million impressions each week last year.


"SnapStream is critical [to our workflow]. It's become the backbone of our ability to record all the video we need and have it organized and structured, whether we're looking for it a minute later, a day later, or a year later."


-Brent Baker, Vice President
Media Research Center


 

In Their Own Words

Want to hear the full story? Hear the MRC's Brent Baker in his own words by checking out the video below.



 

ABOUT THE MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER

The MRC’s commitment to neutralizing leftist bias in the news media and popular culture has had a critical impact on the way Americans view the liberal media. The MRC is able to effectively educate the public about left-wing media bias by integrating cutting-edge news monitoring capabilities with a sophisticated marketing operation. 

The Media Research Center is a research and education organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax-deductible to the maximum extent of the law. The MRC receives no government grants or contracts nor does it have an endowment. The MRC raises its funds each year from individuals, foundations, and corporations.


Interested in more info about media bias?

Check out our article on how source bias impacts online media engagement and answer the question - was Marshall McLuhan right? Is the medium really the message?

 

 

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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