Finally, beyond the limited effects of this one program, it is worth noting that the general form of the information-oriented talk show speaks to a fundamental change in the way issues are framed for the American public. Too often analysts and journalists still proceed on the assumption that policy advocacy is largely the domain of legal or official advocates communicating through the familiar channels of the newspaper and the newscast. Traditional news formulas for policy discussion usually give preference to professional advocates on issues: politicians, industry leaders, academics, and others. What has changed? For the average television viewer, the costs and consequences of public issues -- ranging from the use of state funds for religious schools to the virtues of rapprochement with the Soviet Union -- are increasingly represented in the responses of guests who appear on programs like "Donahue" as victims or advocates. We are attracted to these populist sources because of their willingness to "witness" in behalf of the traumatic or therapeutic consequences of public policy. These relatively new shows point to the fact that our civil life is bound up in a new hybrid forum that owes as much to teleevangelism as to political journalism.