|Launched||March 19, 1979 (C-SPAN)|
June 2, 1986 (C-SPAN2)
January 22, 2001 (C-SPAN3)
|Owned by||National Cable Satellite Corporation|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
Downgraded to letterboxed 480i for SDTV feed
|Slogan||Created by Cable.|
Where History Unfolds Daily
|Headquarters||Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.|
|90.1 FM / HD Radio (Washington, D.C. / Baltimore)|
| Selective TV, Inc. |
|DirecTV||350: C-SPAN (SD)|
351: C-SPAN2 (SD)
|Dish Network||210: C-SPAN (SD)|
211: C-SPAN2 (SD)
|Verizon FiOS||109: C-SPAN (SD)|
110: C-SPAN2 (SD)
111: C-SPAN3 (SD)
|Wave Broadband||16 (C-SPAN)|
|Available on most other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|AT&T U-verse||230: C-SPAN (SD)|
231: C-SPAN2 (SD)
232: C-SPAN3 (SD)
|Google Fiber||131: C-SPAN|
|Cable One||78 (SD)|
|Available to current cable/satellite subscribers|| C-SPAN Live |
and on demand
Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN; // ) is an American cable and satellite television network that was created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. It televises many proceedings of the United States federal government, as well as other public affairs programming. The C-SPAN network includes the television channels C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, and C-SPAN3, the radio station WCSP-FM, and a group of websites which provide streaming media and archives of C-SPAN programs. C-SPAN's television channels are available to approximately 100 million cable and satellite households within the United States, while WCSP-FM is broadcast on FM radio in Washington, D.C. and is available throughout the U.S. on XM Satellite Radio via Internet streaming, and through apps for iOS, BlackBerry, and Android devices. The network televises U.S. political events, particularly live and "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of the U.S. Congress, as well as occasional proceedings of the Canadian, Australian, and British Parliaments (including the weekly Prime Minister's Questions) and other major events worldwide. Its coverage is unedited of political and policy events, providing the audience with unfiltered information about politics and government. Non-political coverage includes historical programming, programs dedicated to non-fiction books, and interview programs with noteworthy individuals associated with public policy. C-SPAN is a private, non-profit organization funded by its cable and satellite affiliates, and it does not have advertisements on any of its networks, radio stations, or websites, nor does it solicit donations or pledges. The network operates independently, and neither the cable industry nor Congress have control of the content of its programming.
WCSP-FM, also known as C-SPAN Radio, is a radio station licensed to the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) in Washington, D.C. The station broadcasts on 90.1 MHz and is on-air 24 hours a day. Its studios are located near Capitol Hill in C-SPAN’s headquarters. In addition to WCSP-FM, C-SPAN Radio programming is also available online at c-span.org and via satellite radio on SiriusXM channel 455.
Streaming media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. The verb "to stream" refers to the process of delivering or obtaining media in this manner; the term refers to the delivery method of the medium, rather than the medium itself, and is an alternative to file downloading, a process in which the end-user obtains the entire file for the content before watching or listening to it.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.
Brian Lamb, C-SPAN's chairman and former chief executive officer, first conceived the concept of C-SPAN in 1975 while working as the Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the cable industry trade magazine Cablevision.It was a time of rapid growth in the number of cable television channels available in the United States, and Lamb envisioned a cable-industry financed nonprofit network for televising sessions of the U.S. Congress and other public affairs event and policy discussions. Lamb shared his idea with several cable executives, who helped him launch the network. Among them were Bob Rosencrans, who provided $25,000 of initial funding in 1979, and John D. Evans, who provided the wiring and access to the headend needed for the distribution of the C-SPAN signal.
Brian Patrick Lamb is an American journalist and the founder, executive chairman, and now retired CEO of C-SPAN; an American cable network which provides coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate as well as other public affairs events. Prior to launching C-SPAN in 1979, Lamb held various communications roles including White House telecommunications policy staffer and Washington bureau chief for Cablevision magazine. He also served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy for four years. Lamb has conducted thousands of interviews in his lifetime, including those on C-SPAN's Booknotes and Q&A, and is known for his unique interview style, focusing on short, direct questions. Over the course of his career Lamb has received numerous honors and awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Humanities Medal.
The chairman is the highest officer of an organized group such as a board, a committee, or a deliberative assembly. The person holding the office is typically elected or appointed by the members of the group, and the chairman presides over meetings of the assembled group and conducts its business in an orderly fashion.
The chief executive officer (CEO), or just chief executive (CE), is the most senior corporate, executive, or administrative officer in charge of managing an organization – especially an independent legal entity such as a company or nonprofit institution. CEOs lead a range of organizations, including public and private corporations, non-profit organizations and even some government organizations. The CEO of a corporation or company typically reports to the board of directors and is charged with maximizing the value of the entity, which may include maximizing the share price, market share, revenues, or another element. In the non-profit and government sector, CEOs typically aim at achieving outcomes related to the organization's mission, such as reducing poverty, increasing literacy, etc.
C-SPAN was launched on March 19, 1979, million homes were wired for C-SPAN, and the network had just three employees. The second C-SPAN channel, C-SPAN2, followed on June 2, 1986 when the U.S. Senate permitted itself to be televised. C-SPAN3, the most recent expansion channel, began full-time operations on January 22, 2001, and shows other public policy and government-related live events on weekdays along with weekend historical programming. C-SPAN3 is the successor of a digital channel called C-SPAN Extra, which was launched in the Washington D.C. area in 1997, and televised live and recorded political events from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.in time for the first televised session made available by the House of Representatives, beginning with a speech by then-Tennessee representative Al Gore. Upon its debut, only 3.5
Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.
Albert Arnold Gore Jr. is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Gore was Bill Clinton's running mate in their successful campaign in 1992, and the pair was re-elected in 1996. Near the end of Clinton's second term, Gore was selected as the Democratic nominee for the 2000 presidential election but lost the election in a very close race after a Florida recount. After his term as vice-president ended in 2001, Gore remained prominent as an author and environmental activist, whose work in climate change activism earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.
C-SPAN Radio began operations on October 9, 1997, covering similar events as the television networks and often simulcasting their programming.The station broadcasts on WCSP (90.1 FM) in Washington, D.C., is also available on XM Satellite Radio channel 120 and is streamed live at c-span.org. It was formerly available on Sirius Satellite Radio from 2002 to 2006.
Simulcast is the broadcasting of programs or events across more than one medium, or more than one service on the same medium, at exactly the same time. For example, Absolute Radio is simulcast on both AM and on satellite radio. Likewise, the BBC's Prom concerts were formerly simulcast on both BBC Radio 3 and BBC Television. Another application is the transmission of the original-language soundtrack of movies or TV series over local or Internet radio, with the television broadcast having been dubbed into a local language.
XM Satellite Radio (XM) was one of the three satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio services in the United States and Canada, operated by Sirius XM Holdings. It provided pay-for-service radio, analogous to cable television. Its service included 73 different music channels, 39 news, sports, talk and entertainment channels, 21 regional traffic and weather channels and 23 play-by-play sports channels. XM channels were identified by Arbitron with the label "XM".
Sirius Satellite Radio was a satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Holdings.
Lamb semi-retired in March 2012, coinciding with the channel's 33rd anniversary, and gave executive control of the network to his two lieutenants, Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain.
Susan Swain is an American journalist, author and the co-CEO of C-SPAN.
On January 12, 2017, the online feed for C-SPAN1 was interrupted and replaced by a feed from the Russian television network RT for approximately 10 minutes.C-SPAN announced that they were troubleshooting the incident and were "operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue."
RT is a Russian international television network funded by the Russian government. It operates pay television channels directed to audiences outside of Russia, as well as providing Internet content in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Russian.
C-SPAN celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1989 with a three-hour retrospective, featuring Lamb recalling the development of the network.The 15th anniversary was commemorated in an unconventional manner as the network facilitated a series of re-enactments of the seven historic Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, which were televised from August to October 1994, and have been rebroadcast from time to time ever since. Five years later, the series American presidents: Life Portraits , which won a Peabody Award, served as a year-long observation of C-SPAN's 20th anniversary.
In 2004, C-SPAN celebrated its 25th anniversary, by which time the flagship network was viewed in 86 million homes, C-SPAN2 was in 70 million homes and C-SPAN3 was in eight million homes. On the anniversary date, C-SPAN repeated the first televised hour of floor debate in the House of Representatives from 1979 and, throughout the month, 25th anniversary features included "then and now" segments with journalists who had appeared on C-SPAN during its early years. Also included in the 25th anniversary was an essay contest for viewers to write in about how C-SPAN has influenced their life regarding community service. For example, one essay contest winner wrote about how C-SPAN's non-fiction book programming serves as a resource in his charitable mission to record non-fiction audio books for people who are blind.
To commemorate 25 years of taking viewer telephone calls, in 2005, C-SPAN had a 25-hour "call-in marathon", from 8:00 pm. Eastern Time on Friday, October 7, concluding at 9:00 pm. Eastern Time on Saturday, October 8. The network also had a viewer essay contest, the winner of which was invited to host an hour of the broadcast from C-SPAN's Capitol Hill studios.
C-SPAN continues to expand its coverage of government proceedings, with a history of requests to government officials for greater access, especially to the U.S. Supreme Court.In December 2009, Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate, requesting that negotiations for health care reform be televised by C-SPAN. Committee meetings on health care were broadcast subsequently by C-SPAN and may be viewed on the C-SPAN website. In November 2010, Lamb wrote to incoming House Speaker John Boehner requesting changes to restrictions on cameras in the House. In particular, C-SPAN asked to add some of its own robotically operated cameras to the existing government-controlled cameras in the House chamber. In February 2011, Boehner denied the request. A previous request to Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi in 2006, to add C-SPAN's cameras in the House chamber to record floor proceedings, was also denied. Although C-SPAN uses the congressional chamber feed cables, the cameras are owned and controlled by each respective body of Congress. Requests by C-SPAN for camera access to non-government events such as the annual dinner by the Gridiron Club have also been denied.
On June 22 and into June 23, 2016, C-SPAN took video footage of the House floor from individual House representatives via streaming services Periscope and Facebook Live during a sit-in by House Democrats asking for a vote on gun control measures after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting. This needed to be done because—as the sit-in was done out of formal session and while the House was in official recess—the existing House cameras could not be utilized for coverage of the event by rule.Although the use of electronic devices to create the Periscope feeds by House Democrats violated House rules that prohibit their use on the floor, C-SPAN did not state why it chose to broadcast those feeds. The network ran disclaimers on-air and on their official social media feeds noting the restrictions.
Since the late 1990s, C-SPAN has significantly expanded its online presence. In January 1997, C-SPAN began real-time streaming of C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 on its website, the first time that Congress had been live streamed online.To cover the Democratic and Republican conventions and the presidential debates of 2008, C-SPAN created two standalone websites: the Convention Hub and the Debate Hub. In addition to real-time streams of C-SPAN's television networks online, c-span.org features further live programming such as committee hearings and speeches that are broadcast later in the day, after the House and Senate have left.
C-SPAN began promoting audience interaction early in its history, by the regular incorporation of viewer telephone calls in its programming. It has since expanded into social media. In March 2009,viewers began submitting questions live via Twitter to guests on C-SPAN's morning call-in show Washington Journal . The network also has a Facebook page to which it added occasional live streaming in January 2011. The live stream is intended to show selected well-publicized events of Congress. In June 2010, C-SPAN joined with the website Foursquare to provide users of the application with access to geotagged C-SPAN content at various locations in Washington, D.C.
In 2010, C-SPAN began a transition to high definition telecasts, planned to take place over an 18-month period.The network provided C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 in high definition on June 1, 2010, and C-SPAN3 in July 2010.
As part of the network's 40 anniversary, C-SPAN instituted the first logo change in the network's history on March 18, 2019.
The C-SPAN network's core programming is live coverage of the U.S. House and Senate, with the C-SPAN channel emphasizing the United States House of Representatives. Between 1979 and May 2011, the network televised more than 24,246 hours of floor action.C-SPAN2, the first of the C-SPAN spin-off networks, provides uninterrupted live coverage of the United States Senate. With coverage of the House and Senate, viewers can track legislation as it moves through both bodies of Congress. Important debates in Congress that C-SPAN has covered live include the Persian Gulf conflict during 1991, and the House impeachment vote and Senate trial of President Bill Clinton in 1998 and 1999. When the House or Senate are not in session, C-SPAN channels broadcast other public affairs programming.
The public affairs coverage on the C-SPAN networks other than the House and Senate floor debates is wide-ranging. C-SPAN is considered a useful source of information for journalists, lobbyists, educators and government officials as well as casual viewers interested in politics, due to its unedited coverage of political events.C-SPAN has been described by media observers as a "window into the world of Washington politics" and it characterizes its own mission as being "to provide public access to the political process". The networks cover U.S. political campaigns, including the Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian presidential nominating conventions in their entirety. Coverage of presidential campaign events are provided during the duration of the campaign, both by a weekly television program, Road to the White House , and at its dedicated politics website. C-SPAN also covers midterm elections.
All three channels televise events such as congressional hearings,White House press briefings and presidential speeches, as well as other government meetings including Federal Communications Commission hearings and Pentagon press conferences. Other U.S. political coverage includes State of the Union speeches, and presidential press conferences. According to the results of a survey after the 1992 presidential election, 85% of C-SPAN viewers voted in that election. The results of a similar survey in 2013 found that 89% of C-SPAN viewers voted in the 2012 presidential election. In addition to this political coverage, the network broadcasts press conferences and meetings of various news media and nonprofit organizations, including those at the National Press Club, public policy seminars and the White House Correspondents' Dinner. While C-SPAN does not have video access to the Supreme Court, the network has used the Court's audio recordings accompanied by still photographs of the justices and lawyers to cover the Court in session on significant cases, and has covered individual Supreme Court justices' speaking engagements.
Occasionally, proceedings of the Parliament of Australia, Parliament of Canada, Parliament of the United Kingdom (usually Prime Minister's Questions and the State Opening of Parliament) and other governments are shown on C-SPAN when they discuss matters of importance to viewers in the U.S.Similarly, the networks will sometimes broadcast news reports from around the world when major events occur – for instance, C-SPAN broadcast CBC Television coverage of the September 11 attacks. C-SPAN also covers lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda and funerals of former presidents and other notable individuals. In 2005, C-SPAN covered Hurricane Katrina through NBC affiliate WDSU in New Orleans, as well as coverage of Hurricane Ike via CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston. C-SPAN also carries CBC coverage during events that affect Canadians, such as the Canadian federal elections, the death and state funeral of Pierre Trudeau, and the 2003 North America blackout. During early 2011, C-SPAN carried broadcasts by Al Jazeera to cover the events in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab nations. Additionally, C-SPAN simulcasts NASA Space Shuttle mission launches and landings live, using video footage and audio sourced from NASA TV.
With its public affairs programming, C-SPAN intends to offer different points of view, by allowing time for multiple opinions to be discussed on a given topic. For example, in 2004 C-SPAN intended to televise a speech by Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt adjacent to a speech by Holocaust denier David Irving, who had unsuccessfully sued Lipstadt for libel in the United Kingdom four years earlier; C-SPAN was criticized for its use of the word "balance" to describe the plan to cover both Lipstadt and Irving.When Lipstadt ended media access to her speech, C-SPAN canceled coverage of both.
The network strives for neutrality and a lack of bias; in all programming when on-camera hosts are present their role is simply to facilitate and explain proceedings to the viewer.Due to this policy, C-SPAN hosts do not state their names on television.
While many hours of programming on C-SPAN are dedicated to coverage of the House, the network's daily programming begins with the political telephone call-in and interview program Washington Journal every morning from 7:00 to 10:00 am. Eastern Time. Washington Journal premiered on January 4, 1995 and has been broadcast every weekday morning since then, with guests including elected officials, government administrators, and journalists. The program covers current events, with guests answering questions on topics provided by the hosts as well as from members of the general public. On the weekend schedule, C-SPAN's main programs are: America and the Courts, which is shown each Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Newsmakers, a Sunday morning interview program with newsworthy guests; Q&A , a Sunday evening interview program hosted by Brian Lamb, with guests including journalists, politicians, authors, and other public figures; and The Communicators, which features interviews with journalists, government officials, and businesspeople involved with the communications industry and related legislation.
On weekends C-SPAN2 dedicates its schedule to Book TV , which is 48 hours of programming about non-fiction books, book events, and authors. Book TV was first launched in September 1998. Booknotes was originally broadcast from 1989 to 2004,as a one-hour one-on-one interview of a non-fiction author. Repeats of the interviews remain a regular part of the Book TV schedule with the title Encore Booknotes. Other Book TV programs feature political and historical books and biographies of public figures. These include In Depth , a live, monthly, three-hour interview with a single author, and After Words , an author interview program featuring guest hosts interviewing authors on topics with which both are familiar. After Words was developed as a new type of author interview program after the end of production of Booknotes. Weekend programming on Book TV also includes coverage of book events such as panel discussions, book fairs, book signings, readings by authors and tours of bookstores around the U.S.
The programming on C-SPAN3 from Monday through Friday features uninterrupted live public affairs events, in particular political events from Washington, D.C.Each weekend since January 8, 2011, the network has broadcast 48 hours of programming dedicated to the history of the United States, under the umbrella title American History TV. The programming covers the history of the U.S. from the founding of the nation through the late 20th century. Programs include American Artifacts, which is dedicated to exploring museums, archives and historical sites, and Lectures in History, featuring major university history professors giving lectures on U.S. history. In 2009, C-SPAN3 aired an eight-installment series of interviews from the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, which featured historian Richard Norton Smith and Vice President Walter Mondale, among other interviewees.
C-SPAN has occasionally produced spinoff programs from Booknotes focusing on specific topics. In 1994, Booknotes collaborated with Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer to produce re-creations of the seven Lincoln–Douglas debates.Several years later, a similar series retraced the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville described in Democracy in America . Another special series was American Writers , a 38-week tour of the U.S. based on the works of 40 famous American writers.
During 2008 and 2009, as part of programming specially commissioned for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, C-SPAN produced a series titled Lincoln 200 Years, which featured episodes on a variety of topics relating to the life of Lincoln including his career, his homes and his opinions of slavery.
The network has also produced special feature documentaries of American institutions and historical landmarks, exploring their history to the present day. These programs include: The Capitol emphasizing the history, art, and architecture of the U.S. Capitol Building;The White House, featuring film footage inside the White House and exploring the history of the building and its occupants; The Supreme Court, focusing on the history and personalities of the court; and Inside Blair House, an examination of the president's guest house.
In 2013, C-SPAN introduced a new program, First Ladies: Influence & Image . 35 episodes profiling the First Ladies are planned for the series,which was created with support from the White House Historical Association.
In addition to the three television networks, C-SPAN also broadcasts via C-SPAN Radio, which is carried on their owned-and-operated station WCSP (90.1 FM) in the Washington, D.C. area with all three cable network feeds airing via HD Radio subchannels, and nationwide on XM Satellite Radio.Its programming is also livestreamed at c-span.org and is available via apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. C-SPAN Radio has a selective policy regarding its broadcast content, rather than duplicating the television network programming, although it does offer some audio simulcasts of programs such as Washington Journal. Unique programming on the radio station includes oral histories, and some committee meetings and press conferences not shown on television due to programming commitments. The station also compiles the Sunday morning talk shows for a same-day rebroadcast without commercials, in rapid succession.
C-SPAN archival video is available through the C-SPAN Video Library, maintained at the Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana. As of June 2013 [update] , the C-SPAN Video Library held approximately 200,000 hours of programming. Described by media commentators as a major educational service and a valuable resource for researchers of politics and history, the C-SPAN Video Library has also had a major role in media and opposition research in several U.S. political campaigns. It won a Peabody Award in 2010 "for creating an enduring archive of the history of American policymaking, and for providing it as a free, user-friendly public service."First unveiled in August 2007, the C-SPAN Video Library contains all of the network's programming since 1987, totaling more than 160,000 hours at its completion of digitization and public debut in March 2010. Older C-SPAN programming continues to be added to the library, dating back to the beginning of the network in 1979, and some limited earlier footage from the National Archives, such as film clips of Richard Nixon's 1972 trip to China, is available as well. Most of the recordings before 1987 (when the C-SPAN Archive was established) were not saved, except for approximately 10,000 hours of video which are slated to be made available online.
Prior to the initiation of the C-SPAN Video Library, websites such as Metavid and voterwatch.org hosted House and Senate video records, however C-SPAN contested Metavid's usage of C-SPAN copyrighted footage. The result was Metavid's removal of portions of the archive produced with C-SPAN's cameras, while preserving its archive of government-produced content.C-SPAN also engaged in actions to stop parties from making unauthorized uses of its content online, including its video of House and Senate proceedings. Most notably, in May 2006, C-SPAN requested the removal of Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner from YouTube. After concerns by some webloggers, C-SPAN gave permission for Google Video to host the full event. On March 7, 2007 C-SPAN liberalized its copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency and now allows for attributed non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, excluding re-syndication of live video streams. The new policy did not affect the public's right to use the public domain video coverage of the floor proceedings of the U.S. House and Senate.
In 2008, C-SPAN's online political coverage was expanded just prior to the elections, with the introduction of three special pages on the C-SPAN website: the C-SPAN Convention Hubs and C-SPAN Debate Hub, which offered video of major events as well as discussion from weblogs and social media about the major party conventions and candidate debates.C-SPAN brought back the Convention Hub for the 2012 presidential election.
In addition to the programming available in the C-SPAN Video Library, all C-SPAN programming is available as a live feed streamed on its website in Flash Video format.
On July 29, 2014, C-SPAN announced that it would begin restricting access to the live feeds of the main channel, C-SPAN2 and C-SPAN3 to subscribers of cable or satellite providers later that summer, citing concerns with the slow shift in viewing habits from cable television to the internet due to its reliance on carriage fees from cable and satellite providers. However, it will continue to allow all government meetings, hearings and conferences to be streamed live online and via archived on the C-SPAN Video Library without requiring an authenticated login by a provider; live audio feeds of all three channels are also available for free through the network's mobile app. The decision drew some criticism from public interest and government transparency advocates, citing the fact that C-SPAN was designed as a public service.
|Founded||November 14, 1978|
|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit organization|
|Affiliations||C-SPAN Education Foundation|
C-SPAN is operated by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, a nonprofit organization,the board of directors of which consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies. Early chairmen of C-SPAN include Bob Rosencrans, John Saeman, Ed Allen and Gene Schneider. Funding for C-SPAN does not derive from advertising; instead, it receives nearly all of its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) operators.
As of 2012 [update] , C-SPAN received 6¢ of each subscriber's cable bill for an annual budget of $60 million. As the network is an independent entity, neither the cable industry nor Congress controls the content of its programming.
As of January 2013 [update] , the network has 282 employees. C-SPAN is led by co-CEOs Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain. Founder and former CEO Brian Lamb serves as the executive chairman of the board of directors. The majority of C-SPAN's employees are based at C-SPAN's headquarters located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., however in 2003 television studios were opened in New York City and Denver, Colorado. These studios use digital equipment that can be controlled from Washington.
C-SPAN also maintains archives in West Lafayette, Indiana at the Purdue Research Park under the direction of Dr. Robert X. Browning.
The C-SPAN networks are available in more than 100 million households as of 2010 [update] , not including access to the C-SPAN websites. More than 7,000 telephone callers have participated with discussion on Washington Journalas of March 18,2009 [update] . There are not any official viewing statistics for C-SPAN because the network, which has no commercials or underwriting advertisements, does not use the Nielsen ratings. However, there have been a number of surveys providing estimates:
A 2009 C-SPAN survey of viewers found that the network's most-valued attribute was its balanced programming. The survey's respondents were a mixed group, with 31% describing themselves as "liberal," while 28% described themselves as "conservative", and the survey found that C-SPAN viewers are an equal mixture of men and women of all age groups.[ citation needed ]
C-SPAN's public service nature has been praised as an enduring contribution to national knowledge. million annual budget (in 2009), "an astounding bargain." In an article on the 25th anniversary of the network, The Washington Post noted that C-SPAN's programming has been copied by television networks worldwide and credits the network with providing information about foreign politics to American viewers. According to The New York Times, C-SPAN's mission to record official events in Washington, D.C. makes it "one of a kind", particularly in the creation of the C-SPAN Video Library, which received significant press coverage.In 1987, Andrew Rosenthal wrote for The New York Times about C-SPAN's influence in political elections, arguing that C-SPAN's "blanket coverage" had expanded television journalism "into areas once shielded from general view". The network has received positive media coverage for providing public access to proceedings such as the Goldman Sachs Senate hearings, and the U.S. 2010 Healthcare Summit, while its everyday programming has been credited with providing the media and the general public with an intimate knowledge of U.S. political proceedings and people. The ability of C-SPAN to provide this service without federal funding, advertising or soliciting viewer contributions has been remarked by local newspapers and online news services, with the Daily Beast terming C-SPAN's $55
Despite its stated commitment to providing politically balanced programming, C-SPAN and its shows such as Washington Journal, Booknotes, Q & A, and After Words have been accused by some liberal organizations of having a conservative bias.In 2005, the media criticism organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) released a study of C-SPAN's morning telephone call-in show Washington Journal, showing that Republicans were favored as guests over Democrats by a two-to-one margin during a six-month period that year, and that people of color are underrepresented. A 2007 survey released by the think tank Center for Economic and Policy Research reported that C-SPAN covered conservative think tanks more than left-of-center think tanks.
In 1992, Congress passed must-carry regulations, which required cable carriers to allocate spectrum to local broadcasters. This affected the availability of C-SPAN in some areas, in particular C-SPAN2, as some providers chose to discontinue carriage of the channel altogether.Between 1993 and 1994, cable systems in 95 U.S. cities dropped or reduced broadcasts of C-SPAN and C-SPAN2, following the implementation of the must-carry regulations. Viewers protested these decisions, especially when the changes coincided with matters of local interest occurring in the House or Senate. Some communities, such as Eugene, Oregon and Alexandria, Virginia, were successful in restoring C-SPAN availability. C-SPAN availability was later restored as technological developments that resulted in the expansion of channel capacity on cable providers allowed for mandatory stations and the C-SPAN networks both to be broadcast.
C-SPAN offers a number of public services related to the network's public affairs programming. C-SPAN Classroom, a free membership service for teachers, began in July 1987 and offers help using C-SPAN resources for classes or research.The C-SPAN School Bus, introduced in November 1993, traveled around the U.S. educating the public about government and politics using C-SPAN resources, and served as a mobile television studio. The bus also recorded video footage of the places that it visited. A second bus was introduced in 1996. The two original buses were retired in 2010, and the C-SPAN Digital Bus was inaugurated, introducing the public to C-SPAN's enhanced digital products. C-SPAN has also equipped six Local Content Vehicles (LCVs) to travel the country and record unique political and historical stories, with each vehicle containing production and web-based technologies to produce on-the-spot content.
C-SPAN has published ten books based on its programming; these contain original material and text taken from interview transcripts. The first C-SPAN book, C-SPAN: America's Town Hall, was published in 1988.Other C-SPAN books include: Gavel to Gavel: A C-SPAN Guide to Congress; Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb?, a guide to the grave sites of U.S. presidents; Abraham Lincoln - Great American Historians On Our Sixteenth President, a collection of essays based on C-SPAN interviews with American historians; and The Supreme Court, which features biographies and interviews with past Supreme Court judges together with commentary from legal experts. Five books have been drawn from the former Booknotes program: Booknotes: Life Stories; Booknotes: On American Character; Booknotes: Stories from American History; Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing and the Power of Ideas, the latter a compilation of short monologues taken from the transcripts of Lamb's interviews; and a companion book to the series on Tocqueville, Traveling Tocqueville's America: A Tour Book.
Fox News is an American pay television news channel owned by the Fox News Group, a division of the Fox Corporation. The channel broadcasts primarily from studios at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City. Fox News is provided in 86 countries or overseas territories worldwide, with international broadcasts featuring Fox Extra segments during ad breaks.
Cable News Network (CNN) is an American news-based pay television channel owned by WarnerMedia News & Sports, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia. CNN was founded in 1980 by American media proprietor Ted Turner as a 24-hour cable news channel. Upon its launch, CNN was the first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, and was the first all-news television channel in the United States.
MSNBC is an American pay television network that provides news coverage and political commentary from NBC News on current events. MSNBC is owned by the NBCUniversal News Group, a unit of the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal. MSNBC and its website were founded in 1996 under a partnership between Microsoft and General Electric's NBC unit, hence the network's naming. Although they had the same name, msnbc.com and MSNBC maintained separate corporate structures and news operations. msnbc.com was headquartered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington while MSNBC operated out of NBC's headquarters in New York City. Microsoft divested its stakes in the MSNBC channel in 2005 and in msnbc.com in July 2012. The general news site was rebranded as NBCNews.com, and a new msnbc.com was created as the online home of the cable channel.
The Cable Public Affairs Channel, better known by its acronym CPAC, is a Canadian Category A cable and satellite specialty television channel owned by a consortium that includes among other part-owners Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Vidéotron, Cogeco and Eastlink. The channel is devoted to coverage of public and government affairs, including carrying a full, uninterrupted feed of proceedings of the House of Commons of Canada, with two audio channels, one in English and the other in French. CPAC is similar to services in other countries including C-SPAN, EuroparlTV, La Chaîne parlementaire (France), Phoenix (Germany), BBC Parliament and TV Câmara, TV Senado, TV Brasil, and TV NBR (Brazil), some of which occasionally supply programming to CPAC.
Washington Journal is an American television series on the C-SPAN network in the format of a political call-in and interview program. The program features elected officials, government administrators and journalists as guests, answering questions from the hosts and from members of the general public, who call into the studio or submit questions via e-mail and social media.
Book TV is the name given to weekend programming on the American cable network C-SPAN2 airing from 8 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday morning to 8 a.m. Eastern Time Monday morning each week. The 48-hour block of programming is focused on non-fiction books and authors, featuring programs in the format of interviews with authors as well as live coverage of book events from around the country. Book TV debuted on C-SPAN2 on September 12, 1998.
Booknotes is an American television series on the C-SPAN network hosted by Brian Lamb, which originally aired from 1989 to 2004. The format of the show is a one-hour, one-on-one interview with a non-fiction author. The series was broadcast at 8 p.m. Eastern Time each Sunday night, and was the longest-running author interview program in U.S. broadcast history.
Gloria Anne Borger is an American political pundit, journalist, and columnist. Borger was previously a contributing editor and columnist for U.S. News & World Report magazine and is now chief political analyst at CNN. She was formerly the national political correspondent for CBS News. Since joining CNN in 2007, she has appeared on a variety of their shows, including The Situation Room.
PCN is a private, non-profit cable television network dedicated to 24-hour coverage of government and public affairs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Built on the C-SPAN model, it features live coverage of both Houses of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, as well as other forms of informational and educational programming. It is available on every cable system in the state, and is also available on line through the PCN Select subscription service.
Free Speech TV (FSTV) is an American news and opinion network. It was launched in 1995 and is owned and operated by Public Communicators Incorporated, a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1974. Distributed principally by Dish Network, DirecTV, and the network's live stream at freespeech.org and on Roku, Free Speech TV has run commercial free since 1995 with support from viewers and foundations. The network claims to "amplify underrepresented voices and those working on the front lines of social, economic and environmental justice," bringing viewers an array of daily news programs, independent documentaries and special events coverage.
WisconsinEye is a non-profit, private public affairs cable network in the state of Wisconsin, United States. The network airs gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Wisconsin Legislature, including floor sessions of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Wisconsin State Senate, plus committee meetings and other programs of state interest such as panels, town halls, and programs about state history. The coverage is available live both on the cable network as well as through the WisconsinEye website.
Q&A is an American television series on the C-SPAN network. Each Q&A episode is a one-hour formal face-to-face interview with a notable person, hosted by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb. Typical guests on the show include journalists, politicians, authors, doctors and other public figures. C-SPAN’s criteria for guests is that they have a personal story and can teach the viewer something.
C-SPAN Video Library is the audio and video streaming website of C-SPAN, the American legislative broadcaster. The site offers a complete, freely accessible archive going back to 1987. It was launched in March 2010.
StudentCam is an annual competition selecting the best video documentaries created by middle and high school students. Each year, StudentCam releases a different prompt about the United States for student filmmakers to respond to in a documentary. It is sponsored by the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network's (C-SPAN) Classroom project. All winning documentaries are available to watch on the StudentCam website. The top 25 winners are interviewed for television broadcast and have their documentaries aired on C-SPAN.
Steven L. Scully is a senior executive producer and political editor for the C-SPAN television network. He is also a host of its morning call-in show, Washington Journal. Scully served as president of the White House Correspondents' Association from 2006 to 2007.
The Alexis de Tocqueville Tour was a series of programs produced by C-SPAN in 1997 and 1998 that followed the path taken by Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont through the United States during their 1831–32 visit. It explored many of the themes that Tocqueville discussed in Democracy in America, the two-volume work that he wrote based on his American travels. A C-SPAN School Bus traveled to each of the stops made by Tocqueville and Beaumont. Many of the Tocqueville programs were segments of C-SPAN's morning news and call-in show, Washington Journal, and they were timed to coincide with the anniversaries of Tocqueville and Beaumont's visits to those places. Typically, they were about 30 minutes long, and incorporated calls, e-mails, and faxes from viewers.
The C-SPAN Bus Program is an umbrella term for the activity surrounding several vehicles that have been used by C-SPAN since 1993, starting with the C-SPAN School Bus. The inspiration for the bus program was at least partly taken from Douglas Brinkley's book The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey, which described Prof. Brinkley's experiences taking groups of college students on tours of historic sites around the U.S. The first C-SPAN school bus began its service in 1993, and a second bus was introduced in 1996. In 2010, the C-SPAN Digital Bus and the first Local Content Vehicle debuted, and the original two buses were retired.
Al Jazeera, also known as JSC, is a state-funded broadcaster in Doha, Qatar, owned by the Al Jazeera Media Network. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current-affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty television channels in multiple languages.
The video coverage of the floor proceedings of the U.S. House of Representatives and of the U.S. Senate is public domain material and is not subject to this license, and as such, may also be used for educational purposes.