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Axios' Sara Fischer with Snapchat's Peter Hamby. Photo: Chuck Kennedy

Axios' Sara Fischer put the future of media on the hot seat at Axios' Future of Media event Tuesday evening in D.C., which highlighted insights from Axios' Co-Founder & CEO Jim VandeHei and experts at Snapchat, Edelman, and Goldman Sachs. To kick it off, VandeHei pointed out that "all of our minds are cluttered…to punch through you need something sharp and clear. That's what we tell advertisers" at Axios.

What separates Snapchat from other platforms is that "we have hired journalists" to "add context to" the content on Snapchat to "curate" the video and content, Snapchat's Peter Hamby, the host of Good Luck America, said. He added "most video content on your phones is just repurposed from television."

Dealing with Trump: Laura Gentles, Executive Vice President and Group Head and Client Relationship Manager said, "we always have to think strategically about ways to avoid the spotlight" for clients at Edelman, citing an example of how employees have had to advise clients on how to deal with when Trump tweets at them.

The most surprising media trend to Liz Bowyer, Global Co-Head of Brand & Content Strategy at Goldman Sachs, is how podcasts have taken off. "That people still want to be informed, that they're willing to engage in content in long form, it's not just quick, snappable" content is a surprise.

"The pendulum swinging against social platforms," like Facebook, is the media trend that's caught VandeHei most off guard. "You basically went from an era where we all were gaga about people having massive controls over…our data…That has swung back."

One of Sara Fischer's speed round questions for each panelist: The future of media is…

  • VandeHei: "a hell of a lot different than it is today"
  • Hamby: "vertical video"
  • Gentles: "audience"
  • Bowyer: "hopeful. I think it's been incredibly messy…it's been the wild west of content. We're at an inflection point."

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.