C-SPAN Radio iPhone app for public policy wonks only

Jan 13, 2010
Tech

The C-SPAN Radio iPhone app (free), which allows iPhone users to tune in to commercial-free public affairs programming 24 hours a day, is a raw source of Capitol Hill news. It is great for public policy watchdogs or political science students, but less appealing to the average American. Open the iPhone app and you will see the […]

The C-SPAN Radio iPhone app (free), which allows iPhone users to tune in to commercial-free public affairs programming 24 hours a day, is a raw source of Capitol Hill news. It is great for public policy watchdogs or political science students, but less appealing to the average American.

Open the iPhone app and you will see the U.S. Capitol building in the background with three listening options to choose from, including C-SPAN Radio, C-SPAN and C-SPAN2. The streams are filled with unfettered coverage of various discussions going on in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Sometimes it’s easy to catch the stream of conversation. Other times, however, the programming focuses on the many fine quirks of government; public policy details which mean little to most people.  The iPhone app would be enhanced by a running ticker that explained exactly what was being discussed. That way, the user could decide whether to listen in or not; or at the very least, would have a certain amount of context before they started listening.

The C-SPAN Radio iPhone app does have one redeeming quality: It gives you the option to listen to podcasts, which are broken down into categories, including Newsmakers and Podcast of the Week. This option is great because it allows the user to seek out a specific topic or lawmaker of interest. 

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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