When the Revolution started
C-SPAN began broadcasting the procedings of Congress on March 19, 1979. Its founder, Brian Lamb, believed that something needed to be done to close the "information gap" between citizens and their government, so he came up with the idea of providing unfiltered coverage of government in action. The operation started on a shoestring and has always been run with voluntary contributions from cable providers. "Open source" journalism indeed!
And who was the first political figure to understand that the world had changed? Newt Gingrich.