Louisiana Public Square is LPB’s monthly public affairs program. It provides citizens a forum to voice their opinions and concerns about issues affecting Louisiana to leading experts and key decision makers. LPB has received state and national recognition for the series and we are proud that it serves as a model for other stations around the country. One of the primary goals of Louisiana Public Square is to allow different points of view to be expressed and heard. Oftentimes we have seen attitudinal changes of discussion participants after being exposed to other opinions on the program. (You can track these changes in attitude at our surveys link.)
One of the key features of this format is the depth and insightfulness of the discussion and questions generated in the crucible of citizen deliberations on a small group level. These queries are informed by not only the background material, but by the give-and-take dynamic of an open forum, skillfully moderated so that all are encouraged to speak their mind.
Louisiana Public Square evolved from the deliberative democracy concept of the MacNeil/Lehrer Productions’ By The People initiative. The goal is to encourage civic engagement and civil discourse – the foundations of a strong democracy.
Beth Courtney is the President/CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), which includes a statewide public television network with stations in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge and an affiliated station in New Orleans, WLAE-TV. LPB is also responsible for the support and development of public television throughout Louisiana and serves as the state’s educational technology resource center. She is a member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nine-member presidentially appointed board that oversees the federal funds for radio and television. She is Past Chairman of the Board of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and former Vice Chairman of the Board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). She is co-chairman of a PBS/APTS Board initiative to negotiate carriage of public broadcasting channels on digital cable and direct broadcast satellites. Ms. Courtney has chaired the PBS education, membership, and common carriage task forces. She currently serves on the Board of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE), and the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA).