Apr 12, 2023 - News

Austin student wins C-SPAN documentary competition

Photo: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

An Austin teenager took the top prize in C-SPAN's national 2023 video documentary competition.

Driving the news: Carson Collins, a home-schooled sophomore, submitted a documentary titled "A Perilous Purchase: CCP Ownership of U.S. Land," about U.S. land ownership by entities associated with the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Collins snagged a $3,000 first-place prize.

Details: C-SPAN's StudentCam competition asks middle school and high school students to explore multiple perspectives on a topic important to them and consider solutions. This year's competition asked students to tackle the question: "If you were a newly elected member of Congress, which issue would be your first priority and why?"

  • C-SPAN received more than 1,500 entries from 40 states, Washington, D.C., and Abu Dhabi.
  • As a member of Congress, Collins says in his film, he would "improve and expand the mechanisms in place … to address CCP-backed ownership of United States land. I would act to understand, investigate and address these purchases to better maintain the integrity of the American market and the security of the American people."

Between the lines: Earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to sign a bill that would bar Chinese nationals — as well as those from Iran, North Korea and Russia — from buying property in Texas.

  • Critics say the bill, which passed out of committee and awaits a vote in the state Senate, demonizes Chinese Americans amid a nationwide spike in racist attacks against people of Asian heritage.

How to watch: The documentary will air on C-SPAN on April 20 at 5:50am CT and throughout the day.

  • In Austin, C-SPAN is available locally through Spectrum.
  • It's also available to watch online.

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