Political reporter leaves CNN for Snapchat

by Brita Olmstead
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National political reporter Peter Hamby is leaving CNN to join Snapchat as the popular photo-messaging app’s Head of News, Politico reported Monday. At CNN Hamby earned the reputation as one of its best political reporters, where he has his own weekly series Hambycast. On it he tells the stories “behind the campaigns.”

Hamby will work on Snapchat’s newer feature called Snapchat Discover, a feature for media organizations to share news stories and updates.

His move to leave the television network highlights the growing number of journalists moving to jobs at tech companies.

“At the beginning, it was a constant education to explain what a technology company is doing hiring journalists,” Dan Roth told Mashable. “That is no longer a discussion.”

Hamby’s move also signals Snapchat’s growing influence in news media and its expansion beyond the original purpose of the app in an effort to make a profit.

“Snapchat is one of the most exciting young companies in the world,” he said in an interview with Politico. “They have a big and growing audience, and we’ve seen Discover is a huge success. Their live stories around big events, around places both here and abroad, the potential to take users to new places — we can see some application of that with news.”

How do you see journalist’s roles changing in the future? Is hiring reporters a smart move for tech companies like Snapchat? What do these companies have to offer that traditional media companies don’t?


6 responses to “Political reporter leaves CNN for Snapchat

  1. I think hiring Hamby was definitely a smart move for Snapchat. If they want Discover to be considered a serious source for news, hiring reporters from outlets like CNN makes total sense.

    As for the roles of journalists, we’ve seen time and time again that our roles are malleable and are always changing, just as technology does.

    • I agree! this is definitely a move that will bring Snapchat some more credit as a legitimate news source.

  2. I agree with Taylor that it was a smart move on Snapchat’s part — but on Hamby’s? Maybe not so much. Snapchat is a social media outlet, and social media outlets die out. They have their run of popularity, and then something else replaces them. Facebook is even on the way out – or at least less popular than it was 5, 4, even 3 years ago. CNN is a reputable news source, while Snapchat is a fad. Only the future will tell.

    • Do you think Snapchat’s effort to evolve separates it from perhaps other stagnating social media sites?

  3. It seems to me that Snapchat just keeps getting bigger and bigger! They’re doing more and more lately to stand out from other social media, and people seem to be interested. Maybe Snapchat is a fad, but it doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. I think this was a smart move for them. If they’re going to have news as a part of their app, it might as well be reliable and legitimate, and I think that’s exactly what this move does.

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