C-SPAN’s interactive bus brings politics, media to...

C-SPAN’s interactive bus brings politics, media to life at MTSU Jan. 16

The 45-foot customized C-SPAN Bus is shown in this publicity photo. Staffers made its interactive exhibits and high-tech facilities available at MTSU Wednesday, Jan. 16. (Photo submitted)

A 45-foot customized bus will bring the exciting worlds of politics and mass communication to MTSU Wednesday, Jan. 16, when C-SPAN’s “Southern Swing” makes a stop in Murfreesboro.

The C-SPAN Bus and its interactive exhibits will be accessible from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, in the parking lot of the Paul W. Martin Sr. Honors Building. Access to the bus is free and open to the public.

Dr. Ken Blake

Dr. Ken Blake

Two MTSU classes also will hear from C-SPAN representatives about their work. Dr. Ken Blake, a professor in MTSU’s School of Journalism and Strategic Media, said he’s pleased the juniors and seniors in his Journalism 3090 course will hear directly from C-SPAN professionals discussing the real-world reporting skills he teaches in his class.

“I think it’s very important for them to get a firsthand look at a professional news organization and understand at least one sliver of the field they are going into in a short amount of time,” Blake said. “It’s always good to get a look at media professionals doing what they do.”

C-SPAN’s “Southern Swing” tour, an eight-week excursion through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona that began Jan. 14, is promoting the nonprofit TV network’s public resources. Since 1993, C-SPAN has dispatched a bus for cross-country trips and visits to schools and community events.

The high-tech bus includes:

• Access to an exclusive interactive experience available on 11 large-screen tablets featuring C-SPAN programming and myriad political and educational resources.
• A smart TV and classroom area for conversations with students and teachers.
• A high-definition TV production studio for taped and live programming.
• A 360-degree video station featuring C-SPAN’s unfiltered coverage of high-profile events and behind-the-scenes tours of U.S. landmarks.
• A Washington, D.C.-themed selfie station where visitors can share their bus experiences through social media.

“We are excited for the opportunity to meet, engage and share our resources with residents along our ‘Southern Swing’ and hearing from people about what being an American means to them,” said Heath Neiderer, C-SPAN marketing manager.

“We hope they enjoy their experience aboard our interactive mobile classroom and discover new ways of keeping well-informed,” Neiderer added.

Off-campus visitors touring the C-SPAN Bus should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at 1403 E. Main St. or online at A campus map is available at

C-SPAN, short for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It airs live coverage of the U.S. Congress, interviews with prominent authors and in-depth coverage of other events that bring the public closer to the inner workings of their democracy. The commercial-free public service is funded by cable and satellite TV companies.

In Murfreesboro, Comcast provides C-SPAN programming on channels 7 and 1128, C-SPAN2 on channels 100 and 1129 and C-SPAN3 on channels 105 and 1130. AT&T U-verse customers can watch C-SPAN locally on channel 230, C-SPAN2 on channel 231 and C-SPAN3 on channel 232.

Local DirecTV subscribers can watch C-SPAN on channel 350 and C-SPAN2 on channel 351, while Murfreesboro-area Dish Network subscribers can watch C-SPAN on channel 210 and C-SPAN2 on channel 211. Both providers currently offer C-SPAN3 only via live network streaming at their websites.

C-SPAN also is on the web at

For more information about the C-SPAN Bus visit to MTSU, contact Cathy Sgambati at 615-898-5348 or

— Gina Logue (