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September 2023

How a prominent conservative outlet uses video clips to back its findings of media bias

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Capturing higher quality clips at a faster pace

For over 35 years, the Media Research Center has has built up one of the largest archives of media clips in the country to find and highlight examples of what they contest is liberal bias on the part of mainstream news sources. The conservative media monitoring group used to tape media clips the old fashioned way with VCRs, but SnapStream has enabled the MRC to capture more high quality clips at a faster pace and build an ever-growing yet highly accessible years-deep archive.

Whether it’s posting short clips to social media or making video compilations to portray trends in the media, SnapStream enables the Media Research Center to do the work it needs to do every day by recording TV 24/7 across multiple channels. The MRC publishes several different websites providing media analysis, each with their own set of social media accounts, including Newsbusters, CNS News, MRCTV and Free Speech America. The clips it posts from SnapSteam can sometimes receive millions of views.

“Since October, I've gotten 3 or 4 video tweets from Snapstream that have gotten over a 1 million views. One of them got like 2.8 million,” says Newsbusters’ News Analyst Kevin Tober.

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"Super user-friendly" whether clipping live or searching later

Newsbusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck says SnapStream is useful for him when he’s watching a live event, such as a White House press briefing, and wants to be able to see what was being said on different cable news channels later. He also loves that SnapStream provides him with live transcripts of what’s being said in videos so he can use them for his work.

“It enables us to both have relevant clips and provide accurate transcripts that we clean up using the closed captioning,” Houck says. “I think that's huge.”

Tober says he’s found SnapStream to be “super user-friendly,” and he notes that interns who come to the organization only need about 5 to 10 minutes of training before they’re ready to go. He says one of his favorite aspects of SnapStream is that he can easily look up clips from years ago to see how the narrative surrounding a certain topic has changed over time.

Curtis Houck

“SnapStream is perhaps the single biggest tool for doing my job,” 

Curtis Houck

- Newsbusters Managing Editor

Record TV to monitor, analyze & respond LIVE

Search captions to quickly navigate and watch live video

Get clips to engage audiences on social media

Produce original videos commenting on multiple clips

Track hot topics with transcript alerts

Create clip retrospectives drawn from a recording archive


A secret weapon for branding and fundraising 

Another feature that is often utilized at the Media Research Center is branding tools to include the organization's logo as a pre-roll or post-roll on a video. Houck says branding video products in this way helps them achieve greater brand recognition by showing a clip is being covered by the MRC.

“SnapStream allows us to both grow our website’s brand, our company’s brand and our individual brands,” Houck says. “It's really that simple.”

Being able to get their videos shared all over social media means the organization can attract donors by demonstrating their influence and impact. Existing donors are excited about what the Media Research Center is doing. Iris Miller, who does marketing for the organization, says donors love to see MRC compilation videos because they’re a good way to show—rather than just tell—how the organization is tracking trends in the media.

“People see these big influencers are sharing your videos and your stories about them, and that leads to donations,” Miller says. “I think some people who follow us on social media are small dollar donors, and some of our major donors who are on social media also see these clips and like that we’re able to show video evidence of what happened instead of just providing commentary.”

Making moments that matter

65 million views

4.6 million views

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Enabling big impacts from small organizations

Miller says the workflows other organizations use for getting video clips don't stack up compared to SnapStream. “People may be able to get clips other ways, but the quality is usually pretty low,” Miller says. She says people like to share their clips because the recording quality is so high. Because SnapStream enables direct posting to social media, they're often able to get a video out before anyone else and with criticism from a conservative lens and framing.


The organization will sometimes share video clips with influencers who are featured in their clips, Miller says, and they’ll often end up sharing the clip with their audience. That helps the Media Research Center enhance its brand, grow its influence, and attract more donors.

“We have a lot of followers, and if there’s something we really want shared, we’ll put it on all of our pages and send it to different influencers,” Miller says.

Houck says a lot of what they do at the Media Research Center is only possible because of SnapStream. With only some 50 employees, and SnapStream makes it so they can have a large impact without having a large staff. SnapStream is a tool that makes it so every employee can be as productive as possible. 

SnapStream is known for its use in live coverage, but its also the depth and breadth of the archive the MRC has built using SnapStream that the research team mines for gems, like finding prior statements a politician previously made that contradict their current position.

“A lot of regular businesses don’t have enough people to be able to cover certain things. So when we look at things from a longer perspective with SnapStream, it helps us find stories that we may not have had time to write about or may have even missed,” Houck says.

“We just don't have enough people to be able to monitor every single channel, but with SnapStream we can.”

Ready to make moments?

Since becoming a SnapStream customer, the Media Research Council has grown its brand, audience, donor base and influence by cutting and sharing clips of mainstream media across multiple platforms. 

To harness the power of moments your organization needs a strategy. Connect with us and let us help.

Illustration of a figure watching themselves on television