New faces and a revamped agenda won’t be the only differences for the 112th U.S. Congress. The first session for the Republican-led legislation also debuted the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, which airs governmental proceedings, effort to focus more on social media initiatives.
C-SPAN live streamed the opening session of Congress on Facebook to capture the transfer of power from Democrats to Republicans. The cable network’s Facebook page will also stream President Obama’s State of the Union address later this month.
Nick Schaper, new Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner’s director of digital media, said the new social media initiatives will “set the tone for a new majority that will continue to find new ways to listen to and better represent the American people.”
The new Republican majority in the House also has plans to focus on new media in the session. Led by Boehner, the party’s leaders are promoting an effort to revise House rules to require all committee hearings and markup sessions to be streamed live over the web. Also, the party wants all bills to be posted online in searchable format at least three days prior to a vote.
As for C-SPAN, the network’s focus on social media won’t stop with Facebook. C-SPAN also plans to bolster its presence on Twitter, YouTube and with the popular Foursquare mobile application.
The network’s Twitter page will now include a list of congressional members who tweet in an official capacity. News media reporters who regularly use Twitter will also be listed.
Congressional locations within Foursquare’s app will now include information on the new Congress with historical context and links to video on the C-SPAN YouTube page and website.
According to C-SPAN co-president Rob Kennedy, the network’s focus on social media and renewed online efforts will “continue its mission of encouraging audience participation – something it has already cultivated via viewer calls.”
The first session of the new Congress marked a significant day in the future course of the country. Republicans stormed to power in the House in the most recent mid-term elections, erasing a majority that had been held by Democrats since 2006. Many in the GOP have vowed to challenge the Democratic Obama Administration on such volatile issues as healthcare and tax breaks. youtube live stream viewers buy