Friday, May 25, 2012


This post is an extension of The American News Media: An Overview, which I wrote in January. Since I wrote the post four months ago I didn’t feel right making major changes to it. I also wanted my readers to know that I have new content on the subject. There were some parts of the American news media that I forgot about or did not know how to explain at the time. Without further ado, here is the rest of what you need to know about the American News Media (unless I think of more later).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is a wire service based in the US. Journalists all over the country (and some foreign correspondents as well) write news articles for the AP. Editors at the AP then edit and approve the articles. Newspapers, radio and TV stations, and websites can, for a cost, subscribe to the AP. These outlets can then edit and publish Associated Press content. Much of the content of local newspapers comes from the Associated Press. Reuters is a wire service based in Great Britain. AFP is a wire service based in France. Much of the content found on news aggregators like Yahoo! News comes from wire services.

Thomas Hartmann

This is an addition to the talk radio section.

One talk radio host that I enjoy and would recommend is Thomas Hartmann. He is a thoughtful liberal who doesn’t call his opponents names or yell at you. His insightful commentary is an antidote to those who think that all political talk radio is irredeemably vile. Hartmann also hosts The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT America.


C-SPAN stands for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.  C-SPAN is best known for its uninterrupted footage of Congress. C-SPAN shows the deliberations of the House of Representatives. C-SPAN 2 shows the deliberations of the Senate. C-SPAN 1, 2, and 3 all show political meetings done by think tanks or other civic groups. C-SPAN also shows candidates on the campaign trail. If you wish to watch a speech by a newsmaker, such as the State of the Union, without commentary or analysis in order to make up your own mind, C-SPAN is the place to go.

C-SPAN also has specialty programming. Washington Journal is a news show where politicians, pundits, and experts appear for an hour to discuss a topic with a C-SPAN host and regular people who phone in. Several editions of Washington Journal air each weekday morning on C-SPAN.

C-SPAN has several specialty shows that air on the weekend. Newsmakers is an hour-long show where three journalists interview a politician. Q & A is an hour-long interview program hosted by Brian Lamb, C-SPAN’s CEO. The Communicators is a show that focuses on the media. America and the Courts is a series that looks at the American Judiciary.

C-SPAN 2 is known as Book TV on the weekend. Book TV includes afterwords, an hour long interview show with authors. It is the sequel to Booknotes, whose reruns are also shown on Book TV. In Depth, a three-hour interview show with an author, airs once a month on Book TV.  C-SPAN 3 has shows about American History during the weekend.

C-SPAN is funded by the cable systems (such as Cox in my area) that provide the channel on their cable packages. Its channels are not funded by governments or advertisements. You will never see a commercial or pledge drive on C-SPAN.

Post Script: Television channel abbreviations

            ABC= American Broadcasting Company

            NBC= National Broadcasting Company

            CBS= Columbia Broadcasting System

CNN= Cable News Network

NPR= National Public Radio

PBS= Public Broadcasting Service

AJE= Al Jazeera English

BBC= British Broadcasting Corporation

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