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New IJP2 Issue on the Practice of Public Meetings

The latest issue of the International Journal for Public Participation (IJP2) is out, and articles are available for free downloading at www.ijp2.org.  The January 2010 issue is a special issue on “The Practice of Public Meetings.” This unique issue highlights the research of a team of communication scholars examining different aspects of one public meeting. The meeting being explored was convened in Omaha, Nebraska in a predominantly African American neighborhood to reveal the local Chamber of Commerce’s plans to improve economic development. One unique feature of this issue is a web video that gives readers the rare opportunity to view the same public meeting data under examination.

The articles in this issue showcase an approach to studying communication called Language and Social Interaction (LSI).  This approach, often used in communication research, provides tools to help scholars look closely at the interactions that occur in public meetings.  In this public meeting, members of the audience challenged the public officials and raised issues of trust, race and community membership. The articles in the IJP2 issue ask questions about how public participation is done in practice, and they disclose how challenges with this meeting are manifested in communication.  Each article in this issue takes a close look at some aspect of the communication that happened during the meeting, including the question and answer session, personal stories, nonverbal communication, discussion of race and community, and framing of the meeting goals. The special issue closes with a summary of findings from the individual articles and implications for future public participation research and practice.

(I learned about this issue from a post by Moira Deslandes to IAP2’s FaceBook group. If you’re on FaceBook, check out the IAP2 group here, and be sure to also visit and become a member of NCDD’s facebook group. As of January 3rd, the NCDD group has over 1650 members!)

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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