C-SPAN: Political resources online

By DEBORA RUBI

The C-SPAN site (http://www.c-span.org/) has many resources important for news reporters covering the political processes of the United States.

The site’s main function is to stream the sessions of the U.S. Congress, as the Senate and House TV channels it supports does. The site provides a radio and TV schedule highlighting what will be shown throughout the day. However, as has many other Web news sites, it has expanded much since its original function.

The site contains self generated stories regarding to politics and to current or future C=SPAN programs. The site also provides briefs of the discussions in senate subcommittees such as briefs on the Federal Reserve, energy, and the White House.

For more specific resources, there is a section with featured topics regarding topics that have had high priority in Congress, such as the tax cuts, the Gulf oil spill, and terrorism.

The site serves as a portal to a lot of other great sources, including affiliated C-SPAN links to the Congressional hearings, history Web site, the Supreme Court and White House.

The resources section of the site has legislative records, viewer guides, international and political news. Most importantly, it has a media organization section that lists links for various publications that cover Congress, ranging from the mainstream Wall Street Journal to blogs to specified publications such as the Jerusalem Post. The site also has a section of policy organizations that represent specific interests like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Christian Coalition of America.

This is a great, traditional approach to getting on top of the political science from the national to the political. This is useful in not only keeping up with new stories, but also researching progress on previous stories straight from the source.

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