By the People is an innovative civic engagement initiative aimed at fostering discussion, linkages, and community involvement in a nationwide conversation about America's role in the world and its relevance to local concerns.
By the People is a partnership between PBS' MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, local PBS affiliates, universities, community colleges, and civic groups across the nation. The By the People "Citizen Deliberation" model is based on the Deliberative Opinon Poll¨ format developed by Professor James Fishkin. This polling design includes (1) the gathering of a representative sample of citizens from participating communities; (2) dissemination of video and print background materials about particular public policy or electoral issues; (3) moderated small group discussions and interaction with experts about those issues; and (4) a survey questionnaire. The Deliberative Opinion Poll seeks to measure public opinion both before and after a consultative process, and serve to increase participation in the deliberative process of democracy. Footage from By the People events are shown on nationally-broadcast PBS specials and NET television Statewide programs.
For more information about By the People, please visit the PBS By the People web site.Dialogues in Democracy, (October 2007)