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Online Workshop on Reporting Deliberation Results Coming Up March 14

Taylor Willingham, Marla Crocket (a trained National Issues Forums moderator, public radio & TV journalist) and John Doble are putting together a very cool online workshop that aims to develop techniques for reporting the results of deliberative forums. The workshop will take place online on March 14 at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the workshop is to prepare volunteers to observe and report on NIF forums. This role is distinct from the moderator or recorder, and is the least understood, but (perhaps) the most critical role in deliberative forums.

To learn more about this project and the other research projects people in the Texas Forums network are working on, please go to: texasforums.wetpaint.com/page/Research+Projects.

As preparation for this online training, they are asking those who’ve reported on public deliberation to consider the following questions:
* How are you capturing what happens in a forum? What are you doing with what you capture? What are you doing effectively and what do you struggle with?
* Are you publishing the results? Are you providing feedback to the participants and policymakers? Are you using notes from one forum to feed future forums?
* How confident are you that your reports accurately reflect what has happened in the forum?
* Have you developed any tools or materials to train members of your network to report on forums?

Send your materials or ideas to Taylor at: texasforums.wetpaint.com/page/Citizen+Journalism .To attach a document, just click on the “Add an attachment” link on the left-hand side. You can also add comments. If you are interested in monitoring our progress on this project, you can establish an account and receive e-mail notification every time a new resource is added.

The workshop is the first step in a much larger vision of the role of citizen journalism in documenting and promoting deliberation. Marla and Taylor have mapped out a project that includes print, audio and eventually video broadcast programming, with cross-over possibilities into public broadcasting. It is a large endeavor that involves research teams at three universities, dozens of members of the NIF network, and Marla’s extensive contacts in the public broadcasting community. This work will eventually lead to news magazine podcasts, trained citizen journalists reporting on forums, new technologies for reporting and consolidating the results of forums and the impact on communities across the country, and greater awareness of the value of deliberation.

In the meantime, here’s how you can participate:
o Share your resources
o Monitor Taylor’s blog, particularly the postings on Citizen Journalism you can find by filtering for that category on the right hand of the blog – www.texasforums.wordpress.com
o Sign up for the Texas Forums newsletter to find out about our upcoming online workshops at their home page – www.texasforums.org.

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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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