The American news media has taken a big hit over the last few years. Accusations of media bias and fake news are rampant. The news media's reputation for impartially reporting the news-especially political news- has been ruined. Few news outlets have been able to avoid the charges of disinformation and sensationalism.

There are a few outlets, however, that have weathered the storm.

One such news outlet is the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN), an American cable and satellite television network that was created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a nonprofit public service. It televises many proceedings of the United States federal government, as well as other public affairs programming. 

The C-SPAN network includes the television channels C-SPAN (focusing on the U.S. House of Representatives), C-SPAN2 (focusing on the U.S. Senate), and C-SPAN3 (airing other government hearings and related programming), and the radio station WCSP-FM.

C-SPAN's television channels are available to approximately 100 million cable and satellite households within the United States, while WCSP-FM is broadcast on FM radio in Washington, D.C. and is available throughout the U.S. on SiriusXM via Internet streaming, and globally through apps for iOS and Android devices.

C-SPAN's coverage of political and policy events is unmoderated, providing the audience with unfiltered information about politics and government. C-SPAN is a private, non-profit organization funded by its cable and satellite affiliates and does not solicit donations or pledges. The network operates independently, and neither the cable industry nor Congress has control of its programming content.

A group of websites provides streaming media and archives of C-SPAN programs. Facebook, YouTube, and its own website aggregate C-Span content. Any one of these sites would make a great addition to a library's web resource guide.

C-SPAN's website and social media pages are great picks; don't pass them up.


Peter Ward is a retired librarian with over 30 years experience working in public libraries on Long Island, over 20 of those years as a library director. He has presented many programs in public libraries that promote democracy and civic involvement, including recording podcasts and digital videocasts and made them available for download. He has been a presenter at local and regional library conferences. In 2017, he received the Distinguished Career Award for Long Island.