The Norman Transcript


November 9, 2011

OU honors C-SPAN founder with Gaylord Prize



Lamb said the senator went on to say that he would be treated instead for angina — and to trust his young press secretary.

“Along the way, you’re going to have to make a decision — stick to your principles or go with the flow,” Lamb said. “A lot of people just go with the flow.”

Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote said Lamb started C-SPAN before prominent cable networks like CNN, ESPN and the Discovery Channel went on the air by convincing the cable industry “to have a channel it didn’t even know it needed.”

C-SPAN went live on March 19, 1979 — two months after Boren began his first term as U.S. senator — after lengthy debates on whether to allow television cameras in the House and Senate chambers. Both Boren and Lamb recalled a senator who painted or polished a bald spot on his head because he was so worried about it showing up on camera.

“But the lights came on, the cameras came on and the American people were able to see the Senate and House in session,” Boren said. “It improved not only the conduct on the floor but also their appearance.”

Lamb said the future of C-SPAN will depend on the network’s ability to adapt to changing economic models in the industry, but he is confident that journalism will remain vibrant despite current changes in the industry.

“Journalism, in general, has a great future,” Lamb said. “They will figure out how to use this Internet, how to make money with the Internet and explore its creativity.

James S. Tyree 366-3541

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