Cable network offers gavel-to-gavel coverage with limited commentary. With the Republican and Democratic national conventions coming up soon, television networks are announcing their plans for the events. Traditionally, commercial networks offer hours of commentary, often interrupting or talking over proceedings. Many viewers like that, but if it annoys you, consider an alternative.

Uninterrupted coverage of events.

C-SPAN has offered uninterrupted #Convention coverage for decades. The network presents political conventions, like other public events, with almost no commentary. While other networks feature commentators constantly on the move to explain the proceedings to you as they move along; or engage in frantic searches for delegates who will inject more controversy into the story. The desire to present excitement for the sake of excitement is understandable. The more controversy that is generated, the higher the ratings become. The higher the ratings, the more they can charge for advertising.

How C-Span came about.

C-SPAN is in a different position. When cable television began to catch on in the late 1970s, networks discovered they had to come up with public service channels to meet the desires of officials who controlled city franchises for cable operations. C-SPAN is run by major cable providers, which charge only a few cents per month to viewers. Since it is less directly motivated by the profit motive, the competitive pressure is less and there is no rush for advertising dollars.

C-SPAN and the Libertarians.

An example of how C-SPAN excels in political coverage was the recent gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Libertarian Party. Whether you agree or not with Libertarians, you are likely to agree the party is different. Commercial television would have had a field day with the convention, but C-SPAN allowed viewers to watch the convention and draw their own conclusions about whether the party is inspirational or simply eccentric.

The choice for commentary-weary Americans.

There is a need for commentary in American political journalism, but it does not have to be non-stop. The temptation many commentators face is to become the story rather than cover the story. If you want to think for yourself, C-SPAN is a place for you to be during convention season. The network is available both on your television and online. #Democratic Party #Republican