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A visit from the C-SPAN bus begs the question, “What does it mean to be American?”
On Monday, Jan. 14, C-SPAN began “Southern Swing,” a tour throughout the South to promote their available resources. After visiting Kenwood High School from 9 to 11 a.m., the C-SPAN Bus attended APSU from noon to 2 p.m.
For eight weeks, the C-SPAN Bus will travel through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to engage with residents with discussions about America. This project is called the “Voices from the Road,” and it involves interviewing college students, faculty and other members of the community.
The C-SPAN Bus is a 45-foot, customizable vehicle containing various technological attributes. Such modernized features include 11 interactive kiosks, high-definition programming for potential recordings, a 360-degree video station featuring C-SPAN’s archival footage of United States landmarks and a D.C.-themed selfie station.
Along with convenient access to present-day news and pop culture, all interactive kiosks present the opportunity to take quizzes regarding the American government.
Jenae Green, a C-SPAN representative, says this year marks both the 25th anniversary of the Bus and the 40th anniversary of C-SPAN’s inception.
“The purpose was we were looking for a way to get people full access to their government,” Green said. “So, we work with affiliates from Spectrum now, but back in the day, we brought the idea of C-SPAN to the cable industry. What we’ll do is we have public service and show you guys the government and what’s happening.”
C-SPAN provides in-depth coverage of American politics and educational resources. This includes an online video archive with almost 250,000 hours of available content.
“We do a lot of live streams without actually being there,” Green said. “We still go out and tape them sometimes, but technology has evolved so much, there are so many other ways we can get that footage and make sure we show it to you live. We also put it on our website and make sure it’s accessible to everyone in a much more timely manner.”
Before the “Southern Swing,” the C-SPAN Bus went on a 50 States Tour, visiting all of the United States capitals to engage in modern political discourse. Notable visitors include former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Ted Cruz.
Robin Newton, a media specialist associated with C-SPAN, said the “Southern Swing” tour would further engage with others about the state of our country.
“We’ll be going to universities, high schools, middle schools and community events to talk with the people about different things, including what it means to be an American,” Newton said. “We want to hear from people throughout the Southern border about what it means to be an American.”
Clarksville C-SPAN programming is affiliated with Spectrum and can be found on Channel 19 and 798 HD. Photos and videos about the C-SPAN Bus are available here. They can also be found on Instagram and Twitter.