By Alanna Mustin, PA

Program representatives for the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, more commonly known as C-SPAN, drove the channel’s bus to the Conference on National Affairs for delegates to get an inside look on the network. The two C-Span representatives made an eight-hour drive from Gettysburg to Blue Ridge just to benefit the youth attending the conference. They headed back to Pennsylvania to cover battlefield reenactments from Friday to Sunday.

The bus included a Smartboard to guide viewers through the C-SPAN website, touch screens with quizzes for delegates to test their knowledge, and laptops for those who wanted to do some research. Teens who need a source for research made the perfect audience for the CSpan services. C-SPAN’s website, which has an archive dating back to 1987, is copyrightfree, and video-editing is available directly on the site. Viewers can create accounts free of charge to save clips they inquired for; these clips are primary source, raw footage that contains no interference or commentary.

The definitive purpose of C-SPAN is to provide its audience with congressional hearings gavel-to-gavel. The channel, which has no commercials or reporting, stays operating by receiving seven cents per cable subscriber per month. To keep the channel from corruption or possibly losing its funding, government sponsorship is not and never has been an option. The station, which focuses mainly on Congress, has a wide range of programming: protests, White House events, public affairs and questions with the Prime Minister.

Delegates who took the chance to step on the bus received a great learning experience that included information to take home back with them. Hopefully, Wednesday’s appearance will not be the one and only for the C-SPAN at CONA.

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