The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

News on the move: C-SPAN bus visits A&M-San Antonio

The C-SPAN bus, a 45-foot, mobile education vehicle, rolled onto Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s campus Feb. 13 to engage with students, faculty and staff about the outlet’s educational and political resources, and what being an American means to them.

The bus travels for eight weeks through seven states as part of their “Southern Swing” tour, including Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Marking its 40th anniversary in 2019, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network is a television network based in Washington, D.C., that gives the public access to the U.S. government through three television programs, a radio station, and media streaming from their website.

C-span televises U.S. political affairs, history and events, including the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House, according to C-SPAN’s website.

Communications senior Oziel Trevino Muñoz said he was glad to learn about C-SPAN’s scholarship and internship opportunities. He said overall he liked the bus, the quizzes on the tablets and selfie station with the microphone.

“I think the C-SPAN bus gave us a lot of good information,”  Muñoz said. “The design, the colors and everything was pretty cool.”  

Jenae Green, C-SPAN marketing representative, said the networks content is unedited, uninterrupted and airs no commercials or commentary. She is glad the experience has taught her to give facts and not to sensationalize any news, she said.

“We’ll let you see it as if you were sitting right there in the audience, in the chamber or at the white house,” Green said. “So that you can experience what’s going on in your government.”

The nonprofit organization has no ties to government or political party funding and is a public service that was created and funded entirely by the cable television industry. Neither the cable industry or government has control of C-SPAN content.

Green has been with the C-SPAN bus for nearly three years.  She started at C-SPAN as a production assistant working in the newsrooms as her first full-time job in media.

She said C-SPAN doesn’t use headlines, just information on who’s speaking, and the network let’s you hear it for yourself. She said given the current political environment, rather than having someone else decide, it’s good to decide what is most important to you.

“Truly allows us to be an unbiased source or non-partisan source of information,” Green said.

The C-SPAN bus was launched in 1993 to introduce communities to the network’s coverage of public affairs. The bus travels to book festivals, museums, schools, universities and colleges, according to the C-SPAN’s website.

The bus features a 360-degree video station, onboard studio, selfie station, touchscreen tablets with interactive quizzes and 250,000 hours of public affairs and U.S.history programming.

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Communications junior Christy Romero said she thought it was interesting to learn in detail what the network is about and she enjoyed how interactive her experience was with the 360-degree video station.

“I got to see the White House and it felt like you were in there,” Romero said. “I really enjoyed that part.”

The C-SPAN bus has hosted over 1.5 million visitors, been featured at 80,000 events and visited all 50 state capitals.The bus last visited A&M-San Antonio campus in 2011,according to a Feb. 10, 2011, article in the Mesquite “C-SPAN Digital Bus on the Road to A&M-San Antonio.”

Green said the C-SPAN bus began its Texas tour in Laredo, Texas, stopping at Texas A&M International University. The bus made its way up to the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown, then A&M-San Antonio.

“You all are the lucky winners and we’re finishing off our visit right here in A&M-San Antonio,” Green said. “We’re excited and it’s been a wonderful visit so far.”

In addition to stopping in San Antonio, the C-SPAN bus is scheduled to visit other Texas cities, including Killeen, Round Rock, Waco, Abilene, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa.

“We’ll continue to do events in Texas and then we’ll make our way to Arizona and so on and so fourth in the country,” Green said.


About the Author

Armando Villarreal III
Armando Villarreal III is a multimedia journalist of Enlace News, a TV newscast through the Univision Media Lab, a position he assumed in 2019. Armando was assistant and managing editor of The Mesquite. He has won awards from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association and three-time finalist in the Society of Professional Journalists' Mark of Excellence Awards. He previously interned at Il Sogno Osteria, the San Antonio Museum of Art and Univision 41 San Antonio, and served as president and vice president of SPJ student chapter at Texas A&M University-San Antonio from 2019 to 2020. Armando is a senior communication major at A&M-San Antonio. He received associate degrees in history from San Antonio College in 2018 and culinary arts from St. Philip’s College in 2015. Armando plans to be a multimedia journalist in TV News.

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