C-SPAN bus visits Watkins Mill, gives tours to government, journalism students

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Chase Deist

A group of students pose for a photo while touring the C-SPAN bus at Watkins Mill

Chase Deist and Sarah Elbeshbishi

Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN) came to Watkins Mill High School on December 5, allowing students to learn more about the channel and give students a tour of the C-SPAN news bus.

Social studies teacher Maxwell Bero contacted C-SPAN after receiving an email asking if they wanted a visit. “It was a real great opportunity for my students to come check this out. We have been talking about the campaign since the school year started… [visiting the bus] gives a hands-on experience with the campaign,” Bero said.

C-SPAN is a non-profit organization that is created by the cable industry, while also giving people access to the government through non-partisan resources. C-SPAN’s mission is to provide live coverage of government proceedings, provide elected officials with direct contact with the audience, and to provide the audience with direct contact with officials, all without any filtering or biases. 

“Our goal [with the bus tour] is that if you have never heard of C-SPAN, you can come on the bus and learn all that you need to know,” C-SPAN marketing representative Jenae Green said. “One thing that we always hope that people take away as well is that C-SPAN is non-partisan and non-bias. We show it all…we’ll give you that full access…and let you make your own informed decision.”  

The tour consisted of seeing inside of C-SPAN’s 2016 presidential campaign tour bus, which contained touchscreens, a Macbook center, social media center, and a mobile production studio. Students received information about C-SPAN, told about a video contest they can participate in, and were shown how to navigate their webpage.  

Students enjoyed learning about the different and wide variety of guests C-SPAN had hosted on their bus. “Two weeks ago Bernie Sanders was sitting in [the bus], and I thought that was amazing,” senior Carolyn Kasimatis said. “A lot of the council members sat in there too.”

C-SPAN spends about ten months out of the year traveling to different schools and works with Comcast to determine which schools to visit. “My favorite part is just that one-on-one interaction with students, teachers and community members,” Green said. “Watkins Mill is a wonderful school, and we were incredibly excited to visit.”

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