Report by Craig Matasick: “…innovative new set of citizen engagement practices—collectively known as deliberative democracy—offers important lessons that, when applied to the media development efforts, can help improve media assistance efforts and strengthen independent media environments around the world. At a time when disinformation runs rampant, it is more important than ever to strengthen public demand for credible information, reduce political polarization, and prevent media capture. Deliberative democracy approaches can help tackle these issues by expanding the number and diversity of voices that participate in policymaking, thereby fostering greater collective action and enhancing public support for media reform efforts.
Through a series of five illustrative case studies, the report demonstrates how deliberative democracy practices can be employed in both media development and democracy assistance efforts, particularly in the Global South. Such initiatives produce recommendations that take into account a plurality of voices while building trust between citizens and decision-makers by demonstrating to participants that their issues will be heard and addressed. Ultimately, this process can enable media development funders and practitioners to identify priorities and design locally relevant projects that have a higher likelihood for long-term impact.
– Deliberative democracy approaches, which are characterized by representative participation and moderated deliberation, provide a framework to generate demand-driven media development interventions while at the same time building greater public support for media reform efforts.
– Deliberative democracy initiatives foster collaboration across different segments of society, building trust in democratic institutions, combatting polarization, and avoiding elite capture.
– When employed by news organizations, deliberative approaches provide a better understanding of the issues their audiences care most about and uncover new problems affecting citizens that might not otherwise have come to light….(More)”.