Washington Journal Phone Numbers

Our phone lines are typically divided by political affiliation, with a line for callers from outside the United States:

Independents:  (202) 748-8002
Outside U.S. and Text:  (202) 748-8003
Republicans:  (202) 748-8001
Democrats:  (202) 748-8000

Why does C-SPAN take viewer calls?

One of C-SPAN's founding philosophies was focusing on the viewer and, through our call-in programs, viewers are able to interact directly with elected officials, policymakers and journalists. In addition to our daily call-in program, the Washington Journal, C-SPAN regularly incorporates viewer call-ins into the schedule to allow people to react to breaking news events.

How is the Washington Journal staffed and run?

Guided by an executive producer, the Washington Journal has a staff of producers, guest bookers, hosts and production assistants who work as a team to decide what topics are covered and which guests to book for the discussion.

Why are there different hosts on the Washington Journal?

The role of the C-SPAN call-in host is to facilitate the dialogue between callers and our guests. Throughout its history, C-SPAN has drawn call-in hosts from its ranks; they host the program in addition to other roles at the network. The idea behind this practice is to avoid creating "personalities" so that the focus of the program remains on the guests and the callers.

How many calls does the Washington Journal air per day?

The program strives to take 60 calls per three-hour program — translating to more than 400 calls per week and 20,000 calls per year. Viewers are now able to also share their thoughts via email (journal@c-span.org), Twitter, Facebook and text messages (202-748-8003).

How does C-SPAN handle calls that are inaccurate or distasteful?

While the vast majority of calls are respectful participants, the live, town hall format of our call-ins can occasionally gives rise to calls that contain factual inaccuracies or distasteful language. Fact-checking for live viewer calls on a wide variety of subjects is impractical and, being supporters of free speech, we don't want our hosts to be arbiters of callers' opinions. However, if a caller makes ad hominem attacks or uses indecent language, program hosts are expected to step in to cut off the call. Given that this involves quick judgment during a live television production, it's an imperfect process. The network does not endorse any comments made by callers or guests. Specific threats of violence will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Do you screen your callers?

This is another philosophical aspect of our town hall format. We've always taken the calls as they come in so that the agenda is set by the callers, not by our producers in Washington. We don't screen — except if callers violate the 30-day rule — and we have different lines for different positions on issues. Typically these lines are for Republicans, Democrats and independents to ensure ideological diversity among callers, but they may be changed up for specific issues.

What is the 30-day rule?

To encourage an open dialogue, we don't want the program to be dominated by a small cadre of regular callers. The program hosts remind viewers to allow one month between calls to allow many voices to be heard. This is another imperfect aspect of the program — there are a small number of callers who violate this rule, as is sometimes pointed out by other regular listeners.

Guest Lineup

Tomorrow
    • Nick Timiraos
      Wall Street Journal
      Chief Economics Correspondent
    8:00AM EST
    • Emily Benfer
      Wake Forest University School of Law
      Visiting Professor of Law
    8:45AM EST

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About This Series

Washington Journal provides a forum for lawmakers and journalists to discuss key topics surrounding today's legislation.