Video Broadcasting of Congressional Proceedings [April 17, 2017]   [open pdf - 630KB]

"From postal mail to social media, Members of Congress have regularly adopted and utilized new communications tools to better inform constituents about the workings of Congress and important policy matters. Some of these communications advancements also facilitate better information within Congress as it undertakes its legislative work. By the mid-20th century, radio and television broadcasts offered Congress the ability, for the first time, to provide real-time information about events unfolding on the chamber floors or in committees. […] This report begins with a brief history of early congressional experiences with television coverage and background on the decisions to allow regular committee and floor broadcasts. The next sections describe how video coverage is administered within Congress, discussing rules, regulations, and authorities affecting video recording and broadcasting for House committees, House floor proceedings, Senate committees, and Senate floor proceedings. A brief overview of C-SPAN's history, organization, and operating structure is then provided. The final sections of this report discuss some recent events related to congressional video and highlight some of the new challenges presented by smartphone and wireless broadcasting technologies."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44665
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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