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Analysis of qualitative interviews with newspaper journalists who have covered an instance of citizen deliberation show that these journalists are largely positive about the role that extended modes of citizen engagement can play in public governance. The journalists report that deliberation represents a unique way for citizens to communicate with decision-makers, and the process itself is considered newsworthy. They further highlight their belief in the potential for deliberation to enhance citizen knowledge and efficacy while expressing pessimism about the potential for deliberation to have much impact on decision-makers. The journalists argue that citizen engagement could play an important role in public discussion about complex issues, though challenges exist. The manuscript describes what these results may mean for those interested in “mediated” deliberation, and it suggests areas of future research.
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Keywords: deliberation; in-depth interviews; journalism; public participation; science

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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