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Media Outlets Partner With Snapchat To Appeal To Younger Users


Eleven news organizations are trying a new way to make sure their content reaches you. That, of course, is the central challenge for many in the media. They can't just put programming on TV or on a website or on the radio.


They want to be on whatever screen you're staring at, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. Now they're diving into one of the most ephemeral social media programs of all. People use Snapchat to send messages that seemingly disappear shortly after they're viewed.

INSKEEP: The 11 news organizations want their stories to pop up there, however briefly. NPR's David Folkenflik spoke with one of the news executives trying to make this happen.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: I reached Andrew Morse in San Francisco International Airport on his way back from meeting tech company executives in Silicon Valley. Morse is senior vice president and general manager for Digital for CNN, a partner for Snapchat's new Discover feature.

ANDREW MORSE: Look. I think the mission is consistent for us across every platform, and that is to deliver the most compelling stories, the most compelling content that we can.

FOLKENFLIK: To celebrate the start of its partnership with Snapchat, CNN interviewed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul by smartphone on Snapchat itself.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What is it that we're doing here today?

SENATOR RAND PAUL: A little bit of Snapchat.

FOLKENFLIK: In a youthful version of the are you running question, CNN's Ashley Codianni sent Paul a picture of colorful arrows pointing to the White House with the caption, do you want to live here?


PAUL: Maybe. But I think they may have to make the fence and guard the fence a little bit better than they've been doing lately.

FOLKENFLIK: Paul has been interviewed by CNN for TV and the website too. For each platform, Morse says, the approach is different.

MORSE: Just because we are programming on a messaging platform doesn't mean that the quality of our reporting or the quality of our content's going to change. It's not about waterskiing squirrels and cute kittens.

FOLKENFLIK: On its first day, CNN offered a story on the big snowstorm, aerial pictures of Auschwitz on the 70th anniversary of its liberation and a feature on designer drugs and sex in Silicon Valley. Raphael Poplock is vice president of Partnerships at ESPN, which has its own presence within Snapchat Discover.

RAPHAEL POPLOCK: We're going to aim to provide our fans with the best possible highlights, the best possible photo that we have, articles. And we're going to do it in a custom way that rings true again to the Snapchat platform.

FOLKENFLIK: Everyone wants a piece of these guys. Facebook reportedly offered billions to buy Snapchat not too long ago. For now, media executives say, the idea's not simply to profit, but to experiment with ways to reach Snapchat's new and younger users. David Folkenflik, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.