1998 Press Freedom Awards – Lamb

International Press Freedom Awards

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Brian P. Lamb
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
C-SPAN, the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network

Brian Lamb’s breakthrough achievement in conceiving, defining and establishing a public affairs television network that would give voice to all the people added a new dimension to the nation’s and world’s understanding of press freedom. With the creation nearly 20 years ago of C-SPAN the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, a nonprofit network subsidized by the cable industry,the medium of television made a great leap toward more fully realizing its inherent potential to inform and illuminate. C-SPAN has demystified the workings of government for tens of millions of Americansit now reaches 73 million households on its primary channel and more than 50 million on C-SPAN2,through its gavel-to-gavel coverage of sessions and hearings of the U.S. Congress. Not only has it helped create a more informed electorate, it has become a vehicle for viewers to participate in the democratic process in new ways.

Brian Lamb, the visionary behind this accomplishment, is unstinting in his efforts to make information widely available to the public, whatever its sourcegovernment, private or nonprofit sectors, meetings open to the few or many, or the written word. It is a goal that complements the press freedom standard of the Committee to Protect Journalists: Democracy can flourish only when citizens have the right and the ability to freely express and have access to information, opinions, and views.