Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Tuesday, November 24th 2015
It's the time of the year when everyone thinks of lists -- the ten best of everything.
So, it's time for you to nominate one or more of the ten best public diplomacy acts, actions, ideas, programs or decisions of 2015.
The rules are simple: anyone can make a nomination. In fact, nominations are welcome from active and retired public diplomacy officers as well as from Ambassadors, DCM's and other observers of public diplomacy in academe, business and government.Read More
Sunday, November 29th 2015
The debate over how to reform America’s government-supported media operations has begun to zero in on the question of governance: Should there be one combined enterprise, with one CEO and one oversight board, as there is now with the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)? Or should the entities be divided into two groups, each with its own CEO and board?
Witnesses for both options made their case at a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing by comparing the operations of the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) to a business, a sports team, and even a ship. You can’t have two captains of a ship, one argument went, or two head coaches of a team, while another said no, this would be like having one head coach for two different teams.Read More
Sunday, November 29th 2015
In a recent article, Perry Link reviewed the two statements issued by the PRC’s Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou following their November 5 meeting in Singapore. “What Xi and Ma Really Said” wrung out meanings and implications of the word choices made by the two. Link is Professor Emeritus of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. The whole article --- from the ChinaFile website on November 17, 2015 -- demonstrated the importance of deep language skills in diplomacy and communication. Here, however, is Link’s opening description of media control in China.Read More
Saturday, November 28th 2015
The website of Foreign Affairs ran an article by Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), “Proxy Wars: Russia's Intervention in Syria and What Washington Should Do,” November 24, 2015. His many recommendations included:
The United States should also energize its public diplomacy and information strategies. It could take the lead in funding translation services to make Western media available in Russia. The United States needn’t create content. Unlike in Russia, robust debate and diverse viewpoints already exist in U.S. media. The United States simply needs to ensure that this content is disseminated widely in Russia and Eastern Europe to provide a counter-narrative to Russian-controlled media and an example to the Russian people of what free media looks like.Read More
Friday, November 27th 2015
Anne Applebaum’s article, “Russia and the Great Forgetting,” in the December, 2015, issue of Commentary magazine looked back at the Cold War, assayed how the end of the Soviet Union affected the former KGB personnel who are now Russia’s leaders, and described the new Russian “state-run media machine far more sophisticated than anything the USSR ever invented.”
In the past decade . . . the Russian regime has reconstructed a state-run media machine far more sophisticated than anything the USSR ever invented and yet similarly blinkered. Although there are dozens of domestic news outlets, entertainment channels, and magazines, they all toe the same political line, with only a tiny number of exceptions. There is an appearance of variety but a unity of messages. Among them: The United States is a threat; Europe is degenerate; Ukraine is run by Nazis; Russia, unfairly deprived of its role in the world, is finally becoming a superpower again. To anyone who remembers how Communist ideology once sought to express all of history and all of contemporary politics through the lens of one giant conspiracy theory, this is nothing new. But who genuinely remembers?Read More