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C-SPAN’s 2008 ‘Road to the White House’ Bus (credit: www.c-span.org)

C

-SPAN was conceived of, and created as a cable-industry financed non-profit network by Brian Lamb, its current chairman and CEO, when he worked at Cablevision as their Washington, DC Bureau Chief, with seed funding from Bob Rosencrans, a pioneer in the cable industry.

Owned by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, it operates independently without advertising or sponsorship from any private sector or government source, and is funded solely through cable subscriber fees. CNN went on the air in 1979, broadcasting from Congress; C-SPAN2, began in 1986, broadcasting live from the Senate; C-SPAN radio was added in 1997, and C-SPAN3 was launched in 2001, broadcasting archival programs as well as government-related live events – many from Washington Think Tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institution. Viewer loyalty and activism convinced cable companies to keep it on the air when it was suggested that the C-Span broadcasts be replaced with revenue producing channels. Broadcasts are now available via streaming media on the C-SPAN web-site. C-SPAN has evolved now into a national treasure, representing the epitome of unbiased, uncensored, and direct reporting of Congressional hearings, Presidential speeches and press conferences, and national and international events of interest to the discerning public, with records available for historical research and analysis. It was created solely in the public interest, and, because of its nonpartisan support by the cable networks, provides a purely objective means for the concerned citizen – of the US and the world – to monitor national and international events which are shaping history. Callers to the radio network often preface their questions or remarks by stating: “Thank Goodness for C-SPAN.”

Jeremy Art, a marketing representative, talks with a tour group on the C-SPAN bus (credit: www.c-span.org)

The C-SPAN audience is privy to live and archived coverage of press conferences, hearings, Canadian and British Parliamentary proceedings, as well as the proceedings of other governments around the world -- dubbed in English as necessary. There are some government proceedings not yet accessible to C-SPAN coverage; e.g., it cannot provide television broadcasts of the Supreme Court hearings; but, it does provide coverage of the audio portions; C-SPAN’s request to cover Congressional Floor Proceedings has not yet been approved. Always innovative, C-SPAN added its C-SPAN Video Library webpage in 2007 which will make available -- via free access -- its past programs with hyper-links to archived Congressional Hearings. As a tribute to this national treasure, President Bush awarded founder Brian Lamb with the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the ceremony was broadcast on C-SPAN.

www.C-SPAN.org

Josh Kurtz, the Political Editor of Roll Call is interviewed on C-SPAN (credit: www.c-span.org)

Best of DC

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BEST OF DC: Defining Change in American Leadership  
BEST OF DC: Defining Change in American Leadership  

Welcome to the BEST OF DC: ‘Defining Change’ in American Leadership. This Inaugural Edition is the very first interactive publication of its...

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