“You are not spoon-fed what editors are saying,” says Susan Swain, co-president and co-CEO of C-SPAN. Swain explains how C-SPAN continues with its mission to provide an unfiltered view of Congressional and Senate proceedings. Swain and fellow C-SPAN co-president and co-CEO , Rob Kennedy, were at the ACA Connects Summit 26 to accept the ACA Partnership award for the 40th anniversary of the network that is like no other.
And off-stage and keeping a low-profile, like C-SPAN’s coverage of events, was C-SPAN founder and Executive Chairman, Brian Lamb. Echoing Swain, Lamb spoke briefly in the above video about C-SPAN’s humble, but important origins as he, with backing from the still nascent cable industry, launched this channel when cable was lucky to have 12-channels [for an excellent summary of the significant impact Lamb and C-SPAN have had, check out the Wall Street Journal’s April 20th, 2019. As alluded to in that article, Lamb is going out on top].
That Lamb, Swain and co-president Rob Kennedy have each been with this non-profit for decades is an indication of the team’s dedication to its mission. And this network, as the Wall Street Journal indicates, only requires a shoestring annual budget of $60 million or about six-and-a-half cents per subscriber. What may be most refreshing is that C-SPAN reflects the transparency it wants to see from the government, by publicly stating its prices, as well being open in a non-discriminatory way to all distribution partners.
C-SPAN has spurred others to take up the camera at the state and local levels. Their educational efforts include the famed school bus, which has made multiple tours throughout the U.S. providing tools for civics education for schools. Swain explains that they recently created off-shoots of the bus, allowing creation of local content and history. These new initiatives are the type of things that will keep C-SPAN fresh for another 40-years and its unfiltered will continue to make it a trusted source for news in Washington and beyond.