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Lev-On, Azi. 2016. Deliberating through the radio: A preliminary assessment. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 11(1), 97-109

The article explores whether and how the radio can be used as a medium for deliberative discussion, a process that includes exposure to information and arguments, and weighing of pros and cons of various opinions and values until reaching informed decisions. The article presents an initial assessment of the radio as a deliberative medium, based on a case study of a national radio program in Israel, Let’s Talk about It, whose goals were to provide listeners with information, illuminate issues from diverse and opposing perspectives, and create a respectful discursive experience. The article reviews the theoretical underpinnings of the radio program, and demonstrates how these foundations were manifest in the program, for example in the choice of topic, its framing, the selection of participants, and the ground which were adopted. According to the interviews with panelists and students who assisted in preparing the program, the program’s “added value” was not information gain, but rather the discourse experience it provided, and the radio was useful particularly in “liberation of imagination”, sense of relaxation and inspiration it enabled. The paper concludes with insights for similar deliberative radio programs in the region and elsewhere.


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