RNC Hits Town: C-SPAN Bus Visits Lakewood Park
The C-SPAN Bus arrived in town last Friday for a day-long educational opportunity at Lakewood Park. The bus, an interactive multimedia learning center, offered numerous lessons in US Presidential elections and history. Lakewood was its second stop in the Cleveland area, where it will spend the week during the RNC Convention.
Residents of all ages visited the exhibit, which connected them with C-SPAN’s vast library of video and information about Presidential elections past and present. Vanessa Torres, Marketing Rep for C-SPAN and one of the presenters on the bus, was very pleased by the large number of visitors. The bus travels the nation for ten months out of the year, logging about 35,000 miles annually. Since the inception of the program in 1993, the bus tour has visited all 50 states (yes, even Hawaii).
C-SPAN, founded in 1979 as a public service by the cable TV industry, has broadcast every Republican and Democratic Convention in their entirety since 1984. The network, which is funded by a six cent per month fee paid by every cable and satellite subscriber, does not sell advertising or solicit pledges. This allows C-SPAN to offer unfiltered coverage of major political events without commentary or commercials.
The TV landscape has exploded since C-SPAN’s debut in 1979, when there were relatively few cable channels. The C-SPAN bus helps to spread awareness of the channel and its numerous services. C-SPAN itself has adapted over the years, adding additional channels and building a very comprehensive website. Despite its conservative, quiet image, the network stays on top of the latest media trends. “We rely a lot on social media to get the word out about our coverage,” says Torres. The C-SPAN bus even has its own Twitter account @cspanbus. The Twitter account not only posts schedule info, but also includes fun features like videos made by bus visitors.
If you missed the bus, you can still take advantage of C-SPAN’s vast library of information. You can visit their website www.cspan.org for news and information on this year’s elections. In addition, the site has access to over 224,000 hours of archived footage of past elections, political, and government events.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1