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C-Span Campaign Bus stops at UAB
The C-SPAN Bus visited UAB’s campus last week to provide an interactive experience for students to learn how to follow Washington your way.
The 45-foot multimedia center bus brings C-SPANS’s coverage of public affairs to different communities nationwide with a goal to connect visitors to local affairs and the government by utilizing C-SPAN’s free resources.
“C-SPAN was founded in 1979 by cable companies. This public service connects local high schools, colleges and communities to the bus, which serves as an outreach for local and national politics,” said Christina Whirl, C-SPAN Marketing Specialist.
The Bus is equipped with computer kiosks to access C-SPAN’s Video Library, Classroom, Book TV and more. Visitors can test their knowledge with a public affairs quiz or voice their opinion with C-SPAN’s polls.
“During our stop at UAB, students found the Video Library particularly useful, especially because of the many science majors. A lot of communications majors were also interested in how real-life examples were applied in social media,” said Whirl.
The C-SPAN Bus demonstrates how federal and local government connect through its various resources.
“We used a video clip that showed President Obama and Michelle Obama visiting Alabama after the tornado,” said Whirl.
In the “C-SPAN on the Go” section allows visitors to download podcasts, an iPhone app, and C-SPAN radio.
Throughout the bus are laptops to encourage social media engagement, especially with C-SPAN’s YouTube, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.
“Social media is the new way of how people get their information. With these media outlets, we are able to connect our available resources on C-SPAN for people to obtain information,” said Whirl.
The C-SPAN Bus program began in 1993 as a marketing concept to bring schools and communities together throughout the nation. Two years later, a second bus hit the road. Soon, the buses became an iconic representation of the public affairs network and cable industry that C-SPAN partnered with.
“We retired those two buses within the last two years, and we’ve concentrated our resources into our one bus,” said Whirl.
C-SPAN’s Book TV and History TV calls for several stops at book and television festivals around the country.
“We came from the Miami Book Fair International before we reached Birmingham. Throughout the year, we stop at the Tucson Festival of Books, Los Angeles Times’ Festival of Books, BookExpo America in New York, Printer’s Row Literary Festival in Chicago, Harlem Book Festival, and the Anniversary of War of 1812,” said Whirl.
C-SPAN’s Video Library archives data back to 1987 and includes all C-SPAN programming for historical, educational, research, and archival use.
“The Video Library is a great way to see what’s going on in local politics. For example, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has been in office since 1996. The Video LIbrary shows video clips of the Senator, along with his voting history and more,” said Whirl.
Currently, the C-SPAN is hosting events leading up to inauguration.
“We are finishing our tour at the end of the 2012 inauguration, then we will begin a new wrap. For now, we are visiting a few more states in the southern region, then traveling down the east coast,” said Whirl.