By the People is a special project organized by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions to bring the views of informed, “ordinary” citizens to a national discussion on the important issues of the day. Since its launch in 2002, BTP has supported well over 200 Citizen Deliberations around the country and more than 100 national and local PBS broadcasts, on issues ranging from national security to healthcare.
BTP tries to gather diverse groups of citizens who don’t usually talk about civic and policy issues. To do this, BTP has put together a network of local clubs and organizations, community colleges, and PBS stations, which host BTP events around the country. These events range from day-long dialogues to evening expert panel presentations at community colleges to film screenings and conversations at local libraries.