Centering the Citizen in Politics: Author, LSU Alumna to Discuss Citizens’ Role in Policy Development and Ballot Measures

October 16, 2020

BATON ROUGE—Citizens around the world struggle to find their voice in the democratic process. The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication will host alumna Katie Knobloch for a discussion of alternative participatory government models that place citizens at the center of policy development. This event will take place Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. CST.

Knobloch, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and associate director of the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University, co-authored the book, “Hope for Democracy: How Citizens Can Bring Reason Back into Politics.” The discussion, moderated by Manship School graduate student Kyle Stanley, will focus on examples and tools on how citizens can work to put politics back into the hands of the people.

As politics have evolved, many citizens feel left behind in the political process, even though democracies were founded on the idea of citizen-led government. Co-author John Gastil collaborated with Knobloch to emphasize the importance of engagement between citizens and public officials. In their book, Knobloch and Gastil acknowledge our roles as citizens and highlight the implementation of the Citizens’ Initiative Review as a permanent governing body in Oregon.

Knobloch focuses her research on creating a more engaged and inclusive public and explores the impact of deliberative participation on individuals and communities.

“I am thrilled to be able to return to the Manship School for this virtual talk on ‘Hope for Democracy’ and discuss the public’s role in self-governance,” said Knobloch. “In the book, Dr. Gastil and I showcase the Citizens’ Initiative Review in Oregon and its effort to help voters better understand policy issues showing up on their ballots. My current work at the Center for Public Deliberation focuses on the local level, exploring ways to bring community members together across difference and empowering everyday citizens to engage in public decision making.”

Stanley, a second-year graduate student pursuing a master of mass communication with a concentration in political communication, is looking forward to moderating the event.

Stanley said, “I am delighted to moderate this conversation with Dr. Knobloch, as my class discussions frequently focus on concepts that she mentions in her book. Her views on centering the citizen in politics have inspired me to look at how I participate in the political process.”

The event, “Centering the Citizen: Understanding Your Role in the Political Process,” will take place Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. CST via Zoom. Admission is free and open to the public, but you must register in advance. Reserve, via Eventbrite, your virtual seat in the conversation by Wednesday, Oct. 21. The event will also be recorded and uploaded to the Reilly Center’s website.

For more information, contact Kelci Sibley at or (225) 578-0416.


The Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs is partnership-driven, action-oriented and dedicated to exploring contemporary issues at the intersection of mass communication and public life. Its interdisciplinary approach draws together experts from diverse fields to advance research and dialogue. The intent is to inspire our communities to think deeply, take action, develop solutions and broaden knowledge. Underlying the Center’s endeavors is to strengthen and advance the Manship School’s national and state leadership in media and politics.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: master of mass communication, Ph.D. in media and public affairs, certificate of strategic communication, and dual MMC/law degree.