March 3, 2005

"The Illinois Channel" making it's way across the state

In what proves to be an exciting development for policy wonks and C-Span junkies such as The Dope, a cable channel modeled after C-Span is up and running and hopes to expand across the state.

The Illinois Channel was launched in 2000 as a pilot project and has been slowly gaining support and funding since then. It's currently seen in over 70 communities in Illinois and according to it's website, it's being requested in Rock Island county.

The map below shows areas currently receiving The Illinois Channel in yellow, and those who have requested it in blue.

Much like C-Span, The Illinois Channel plans to provide unedited coverage of the Illinois legislature and legislative committee hearings, plus unedited coverage of the Illinois executive and judicial branches, public policy events, press conferences, and Illinois issues and the congressional delegation in D.C.

Programs exploring state parks and recreational opportunities, tourism, and stories of historical interest are also planned. They provide live streaming video of the channel as well as archived programs on their website.

This is a very exciting project and promises to provide the public with a wealth of information about their state and their government that has been until now pretty obscure to the average citizen.

The fact that this project is even off the ground is pretty remarkable, given the fact that the folks in power were likely not too enthused about having this sort of scrutiny.

There's also the major issue which is still being debated decades after C-Span first launched, namely, how television coverage affects debate and the behavior and speech of legislators and others. We all know the affinity politicians have for cameras, and if they're aware they're being watched, it will no doubt change the way business is done in Springfield in a major way.

But at least in the beginning before they get used to the coverage and alter their behavior in a major way, maybe we'll get glimpses of legislators actually behaving normally in their natural habitat. That should be interesting!!

The Dope hopes The Illinois Channel is offered in this market very soon.

More of the story, including the people behind The Illinois Channel, is found in The State Journal-Register.

> MORE <


At 3/03/2005 1:46 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

Perhaps they will ask you to come on TV and do a talk show?

Glad to see progress on the "Illinois Channel." God knows we need more sunshine, not less sunshine, on the inner workings of state government in Springfield.

At 3/03/2005 2:01 PM, Anonymous Tom Braun said...

Maybe Illinois Channel will get an interview of Oh Holy Dope and end all the madness!

At 3/03/2005 2:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Re: Tom Braun

The Dope doubts either of those things are forthcoming.

Re: Blue State

The Dope has a face more suited for radio.

At 3/04/2005 3:35 PM, Anonymous dope's mom said...


At 3/04/2005 5:02 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Damn it mom! There you go again. I never should have taught you how to get online.

At 3/06/2005 5:06 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

Someone once said watching legislation shaped and passed is a little like watching hot dogs made -- lots of sort of less than glamorous filling but in the end the product may be OK. That's why we need "Illinois Channel" -- to watch lawmakers meeting in committee, in hallways, around the rail, on the House and Senate floor and in the bars as they make deals.

At 3/09/2005 10:40 PM, Anonymous Blue State said...

I ran into the new State Senator, Mike Jacobs, in Springfield last week. He was nearly running from committee to committee, then back to the Senate floor, then back to committee, etc. Why doesn't the "Illinois Channel" do a "day in the life of a new state senator"?

Terry Martin is the producer of that channel. Would the DOPE please coordinate this kind of very interesting TV program, and then would the DOPE agree to go on live during an "Illinois Channel" program (you could stand behind a black curtain to maintain your well-preserved anonymity)?

I can't believe all my great ideas tonight which is what you would expect from a Blue State Democrat.

At 3/09/2005 11:40 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Blue State, nothing wrong with having a wealth of ideas. That programming idea is excellent, and I think it would have great viewer appeal. But I'm afraid you're seriously over-estimating The Dopes capability here. (though it's flattering)

And rather than squandering all your fine ideas for the channel here, why don't you contact Martin yourself? I'm sure they'd welcome the suggestion.

And in the future, instead of sharing your frequent calls for The Dope to do this or do that here in comments, it might be more appropriate to do so via e-mail.

But if I'm ever called upon to do TV, perhaps they could just pixelate my image, and distort my voice like they do with mob guys on 60 Minutes or something. Ha!


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