NBC News Leverages Digital Following Exclusive Edward Snowden Interview

By Jordan Chariton 

SnowdenNBC News scored a big exclusive last night as “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams’ full-hour interview with NSA-leaker Edward Snowden, taped a week earlier in Moscow, aired from 10pm-11pmET (the interview drew close to 6 million).

But the coverage didn’t end on TV, as Williams invited his audience to NBCNews.com for extended coverage from 11pm-midnightET.

Williams hosted a roundtable featuring NBC News correspondents and former U.S. government intelligence officers; the network also leveraged social media to spark conversation around the controversial Snowden.

Over a 36-hour period starting Tuesday, NBC News urged fans to take a stance on Snowden via Twitter, tweeting either hashtag #Patriot or #Traitor. During the actual interview, 500 users voted Patriot, 334 voted Traitor. As of 9amET this morning, it was 59% Patriot (5,966) and 41% Traitor (4,645).

NBCNews.com also created a curated tweets page, showcasing the array of tweets from users sitting on both sides of the Snowden fence.

Following up an exclusive primetime broadcast interview with extended coverage online is not the norm, making what NBCNews.com did significant in terms of TV news networks knowing the value of extending themselves on their digital platforms—especially during hallmark events and interviews.

If you have some time, the full online coverage following the broadcast interview below.