NewsTrack 6: Brussels Attacks and CNN’s Snapchat Presence

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In the wake of the horrific terror attacks that occurred at Brussels’ main airport earlier this week, it is important for us as readers and concerned individuals to monitor the story as more details come to light. We, especially in the Boston area, know too well how jarring and demoralizing an attack like this can be. For me, since I have been following CNN for my NewsTrack site, I checked out their coverage of the bombings, which was unsurprisingly quite comprehensive and immediate.

CNN has released a number of articles regarding the incident, and has continued to update its readers regarding various new details, such as information about the attackers and other potential suspects. One way that CNN has chosen to engage with its readers and get the most up-to-date information out there is Twitter, but another more surprising means is Snapchat.

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CNN is one of a select few media outlets to use Snapchat’s Discover platform, which it updates daily with interactive content and videos. When you take a step back and realize that CNN has always been on the cutting edge of technology, this should come as no surprise. The company was the first television station to have around the clock coverage dedicated to the news, after all.

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CNN’s Snapchat has included live updates about the Bressels situation

Additionally, CNN has a number of articles on its site related to Snapchat and the way it has been used by the company to cover various events. It has been used a great deal in election coverage, getting exclusive interviews from candidates and supporters.

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I personally use Snapchat as more of a personal social media platform, choosing to get my news from actual papers, the internet, and often Twitter. That being said, I see the appeal of Snapchat as a potential news tool. Its ability to be instant and reach large audiences makes it an instant draw for companies like CNN looking to expand their multimedia coverage.

It remains to be seen whether Snapchat will continue to take off as a news tool, but CNN has certainly done a nice job in covering a very difficult situation in Brussels through the app. And as Andrew Morse, the GM of CNN Digital, said in an article regarding the Snapchat Discover feature, “We’re always seeking out new audiences and advertisers, and it’s more important than ever to tailor content to suit the platform. Snapchat is one of the most engaging platforms out there, and we’re excited to be able to program content specifically for that audience.” And programming content for specific audiences has never been a problem for CNN, so I do not foresee it being one in the near future.

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