C-SPAN Requests Pelosi Make Changes in Broadcast Arrangements

Brian Zick

Jonathan Kaplan for The Hill reports: C-SPAN Thursday called on House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to give television viewers the same real-time access to views of the House floor as anyone sitting in the gallery would have. In a Dec. 14 letter, C-SPAN CEO and Chairman Brian Lamb asked Pelosi to roll back the three-decade old practice that put the House Speaker in charge of the cameras. C-SPAN and the House reached the current agreement in 1979 when cameras were first introduced to the chamber. (…) Lamb wrote that the current 28-year-old arrangement is "an anachronism that does a disservice to the institution and to the public…Congressional technicians are limited to taking static, head-on shots of the representative who's speaking at the podium." Rules and established practices prevent cameras from taking individual reaction shots or from panning the chamber, leaving viewers with an incomplete picture of what's happening in the House," he added. In addition, Lamb asked Pelosi to immediately post how individual lawmakers voted on a piece of legislation. Currently, the parties' totals appear on screen, but the individual tallies are not posted until hours later.

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