CHAPTER NINE •
selected. Many people are fully prepared to develop an interest in topics that they have not selected and in fact know nothing about. To work well, a deliberative democracy had better have many such people. It cannot possibly function without them. And if many people are able to benefit from wider exposure, it is worthwhile to think about ways to improve the communications market to their, and our, advantage.
I briefly discuss several possibilities here, including:
• deliberative domains;
• disclosure of relevant conduct by networks and other large producers of communications;
• voluntary self-regulation;
• economic subsidies, including publicly subsidized programming and websites,
• "must-carry" policies, designed to promote education and attention to public issues;
• the creative use of links to draw people's attention to multiple views.
Of course different proposals would work better for some communications outlets than for others, and I will emphasize these differences here. Disclosure of public-affairs programming is sensible for television and radio broadcasters, but not for websites. I will be exploring "must-carry" requirements for television stations, but with respect to the Internet, such requirements would be hard to justify-and would almost certainly be unconstitutional. I will be arguing for the creative use of links on the Internet, but I will not suggest, and do not believe, that the government should require any links. Most important, the goals of the proposals could be implemented through private action, which is the preferred approach by far.
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
Deliberative Domains and the Internet
It would be extremely valuable to have several widely publicized deliberative domains on the Internet, ensuring opportunities for discussion among people with diverse views. In chapter 3, we encountered James Fishkin's deliberative opinion poll, attempting to describe public opinion not after telephone calls to people in their homes for unreflective responses, but as a result of extended discussions in groups of heterogeneous people. Fishkm has created a website with a great deal of valuable and fascinating material (see "The Center for Deliberative Democracy," http.y/cdd.stanford.edu/). Along with many others, Fishkin has been engaged in a process of creating deliberative opportunities on the Internetspaces where people with different views can meet and exchange reasons, and have a chance to understand, at least a bit, the point of view of those who disagree with them. The hope is that citizen engagement, mutual understanding, and better thinking will emerge as a result.
Imagine, a new website: deliberativedemocracy.com-or if you wish, deliberativedemocracy.org. (Neither name is yet taken; I've checked.) The site could easily be created by the private sector. When you come to the site, you might find a general description of goals and contents. Everyone would understand that this is a place where people of very different views are invited to listen and to speak. And once you're there, you would be able to read and (if you wish) participate in discussions of a topic of your choice, by clicking on icons representing, for example, national security, relevant wars, civil rights, the environment, unemployment, foreign affairs, poverty, the stock market, children, gun control, labor unions, and much more. Many of these topics might have icons with