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October 2023

How Media Matters uses SnapStream to create real-world impact

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hours of live monitored

media a year


of clip views


hours of media analyzed

& archived a year

By Brennan Murphy

The need for speed in media monitoring and rapid response

“Real-time clips and coverage are important when audiences are actively forming opinions on topical information,” said Andrew Lawrence, the deputy director of rapid response at Media Matters for America, a progressive research and information center. Media Matters tracks and documents emerging media narratives using real-time video clips to highlight (and debunk) what it identifies as misinformation and to show evidence-based patterns in media coverage over time.

“True live coverage offers pushback before the narrative even develops.”

Lawrence helped pioneer the practice of live-tweeting reactions to Fox News commentary and leads the team that monitors and clips Fox prime time, covering conservative commentators like Jesse Watters, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham—on air, in real time.

It's critical for Lawrence's team to have a product that can help them push out clips fast, which they found in SnapStream.

“SnapStream is simple, it’s so easy to use.” said Lawrence. “Here’s our menu, what do you want to watch? When we clip video, the icons are very familiar and easy." Lawrence easily incorporates new team members into existing workflows , demoing key SnapStream's features like the program guide, recording library, side-by-side transcript, and clipping tools.

“We just hired somebody and after her first night, we had her clipping for us," he said.

Driving real-world impact using online commentary & clips

A clip Lawrence made of Fox host Laura Ingraham claiming that "the America we know and love doesn't exist anymore" because of "demographic changes" led to widespread outrage, including direct responses from her advertisers.

Fox News is often a subject of Media Matters' research and commentary. MMFA News Director John Whitehouse said his organization has been highly effective in contributing to a critical public narrative about the network: “Almost everything that everybody knows about Fox News in popular culture is defined through Media Matters using SnapStream."

“Almost everything that everybody knows about Fox News in popular culture is defined through Media Matters using SnapStream."

Portrait of a man—John Whitehouse
John Whitehouse

- News Director at MMFA

In her role as MMFA's senior director of communications, Laura Keiter sees the organization's efforts come full circle.

“My team will use SnapStream to clip mentions of Media Matters when local, national broadcast, and cable news covers our research," Keiter said.

Such moments help Media Matters staff members generate entire additional news cycles when its clips and commentary are talked about on TV—which they also record using SnapStream—allowing the organization to engage audiences offline as well as online.

"The press pick-up on cable news and other outlets is key to increasing the brand awareness of a watchdog organization like Media Matters, which comprehensively corrects misinformation in the news and as part of those efforts also produces newsworthy, data-driven studies of our own,” Keiter said.

How to: Drive news cycles with SnapStream


  1. Search for keywords and topics mentioned on TV
  2. Clip videos to inform your research
  3. Engage your audiences with clips & commentary (owned media)


  1. Get alerts when your brand and viral moments are mentioned on TV
  2. Make clips that demonstrate your organization makes a difference
  3. Grow brand recognition, audiences, and influence (earned media)

Creating moments that matter

Matt Gertz is a senior fellow at Media Matters with 250,000 followers on X (formerly Twitter). Gertz has been with the organization since 2007 and remembers when “TVs were on desks” as opposed to now, when he and his colleagues can work from anywhere using SnapStream’s managed, cloud-based TV hosting solution. SnapStream allows users to watch, record, transcribe, and clip cable TV—live—from within a browser and without being tied to a desk.


MMFA Senior Fellow Matt Gertz being interviewed on CNN.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, Gertz coined the term “Trump-Fox feedback loop,” documenting how many of the then-president’s tweets came in response to stories Fox News was running at the same time. Gertz used SnapStream’s search feature to match what Trump was tweeting to what was appearing on cable television programming and to show how Fox News influenced his rapid-fire social media use in real time.

Gertz was interviewed about his work by major national and international media outlets including The Daily Show, MSNBC, and PBS NewsHour, and reporters at other outlets began replicating Gertz's work matching Trump’s tweets with Fox segments. The moments Gertz created with SnapStream led to significant exposure and interest in MMFA as an organization, leaving a lasting impact. One MSNBC host even said that Gertz's work will “guide historians for centuries.” 

Putting clips in context

Side By Side Research


How Kat Abu Uses SnapStream


@katmabu I promise this is not an ad for anything I mention, I just wanted to answer the most common questions I get :) #fyp #foxnews #videoediting ♬ original sound - Kat Abu

Weekly Recap Of Clips


@mediamatters jesse really said the quiet part out loud this week #foxnews #politics #media ♬ Elevator Music - Bohoman

One product, countless uses and product outputs

Different teams at Media Matters use SnapStream in a variety of ways. The product supports the organization’s use of social media platforms to engage audiences in the moment as well as publishing deeper, data-driven research over longer periods of time.

MMFA Director of Media Intelligence Lis Power’s department often uses SnapStream to collect information for her team’s quantitative studies examining patterns in media, including broadcast and cable news coverage.

“We have tools that have a lot of the same capabilities, but none of them are as streamlined or as easy to use as SnapStream,” said Power, “It really saves us so much time on collecting the data.” Power explained that getting these studies done in a timely manner is important to MMFA’s success as a whole. Studies published at alert activists, journalists, and the general public to and do debunk instances conservative misinformation identified by MMFA researchers and analysts.

In addition to real-time clips and analysis at the website, MMFA's social media presence is another set of tools used to educate the general public on instances of what they consider to be conservative misinformation in the media. 

Media Matters Senior Video Producer Katherine Abughazaleh (who goes by “Kat Abu” on social media) contextualizes the media patterns she has researched by appearing in her own videos to introduce, explain, and connect the clips she's cut with SnapStream. Abughazaleh regularly shares video products to her own audience of hundreds of thousands of social media followers as well as on Media Matters' flagship organizational accounts.

In the TikTok above, Abughazaleh details her process for creating weekly recaps using video clips pulled from TV with SnapStream. Media Matters empowers Abughazaleh and other employees in the organization to post content on their own personal social media accounts, helping eliminate bottlenecks and build a more community-focused brand. Abughazaleh's work for Media Matters has been covered in outlets including The New Yorker.


Senior Video Producer Katherine Abughazaleh uses TikTok to build her own personal brand as well as the brand of her employer.

SnapStream makes a difference 

Constantly adapting to an evolving media environment is key to MMFA's mission: "comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

As an early adopter of SnapStream, Media Matters has long benefited from how the product turns TV into a mission-critical accessible resource to their entire team—wherever they get their work done.

Through comprehensive real-time monitoring of broadcast media, aided in large part by SnapStream, the organization is able to raise attention around political and cultural inflection points. Media Matters has had a demonstrable impact on public discourse and it has grown its brand in the process.

Day in the Life of a MMFA researcher blurred (1) logo

An MMFA researcher monitors media at their desk (Courtesy MMFA)

Ready to make moments like Media Matters does?

Since becoming a SnapStream customer over a decade ago, Media Matters For America has expanded its audience, impact & donation network through moments.

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