The C-SPAN Campaign 2008 bus visited Temple’s campus yesterday as part of the “Road to the White House” tour.
The 45-foot long, 22-ton bus parked at the Bell Tower, offering tours to students of the mobile multimedia demonstration center within and passing out C-SPAN literature and T-shirts outside.
C-SPAN Education Coordinator Adrienne Hoar said the tours teach students to be both informed and critical of the news media.
“I kind of just want to see what’s on the bus. I don’t think we get it [C-SPAN] in the dorms,” freshman Bob Pennock said.
Students toured the bus in small groups of less than 10 while C-SPAN representative Peter Kiley talked to the group about the C-SPAN network.
“We’re confident that viewers can make up their own mind. We don’t need filters,” Kiley said of the C-SPAN “warts and all” method of news coverage.
Students were invited to take a look around at the high-tech equipment boasted by the bus interior.
“I never heard of it. I was just strolling by on my way to class. I actually watch MSNBC,” Temple student Brian Titus said of the Campaign 2008 bus. “I feel like it was mostly a plug for C-SPAN. I can tell they’re trying to present unbiased coverage, and I like that it raises awareness.”
YouTube teamed up with C-SPAN and had a laptop webcam available. Following the tour, students were given 30 seconds to one minute to voice on camera what issues they consider most important in the upcoming presidential election. All of the testimonials are broadcast on the Web site, and selected ones are aired on one of C-SPAN’s channels.
Comcast representatives were also present at the bus stop. The company is in partnership with C-SPAN, handling their public service announcements, making contacts and providing support.
This is one of two buses touring high schools, middle schools and college campuses across the country. The tour began in January 2007 and has visited 71 universities, 77 high schools, 18 middle schools, 29 state capitals, nine presidential libraries and six social studies conferences thus far.
The next stop is Shippensburg, then to Harrisburg tomorrow night for coverage of the Pennsylvania primary results.
Michelle Provencher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.