Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Monday, April 18th 2016
Amanda Bennett was sworn in this morning as the new Director of the Voice of America, and she promised change:
"We do have to change. We must change. We need to change in a big way," she said, in large part to address the "vast shift in the way people around the world get their information."
Bennett said that he had heard VOA was "dysfunctional," "beyond repair," and "broken." "But then I had a chance to speak with many of you here."Read More
Friday, April 15th 2016
Amanda Bennett, appointed director of the Voice of America April 14, will speak at the PDC/USC First Monday Forum next May 2. The author, editor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist will be sworn in April 18 at the headquarters of the Voice of America, United States' largest international broadcaster.Read More
Tuesday, April 12th 2016
The popularity and impact of American jazz has been an instrument of soft power for decades, and that was the focus of discussion among musicians, broadcasters and educators who participated in this month's PDC / USC First Monday forum.
Trumpeter and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Owens [http://jimmyowensjazz.com/] said that audiences in other countries repeatedly surprise musicians with their familiarity with American music.Read More
Saturday, April 2nd 2016
The short front summary of the March, 2016, report by the State Department’s Inspector General, “Evaluation of Embassy Baghdad’s Implementation of Line of Effort 6 in the President’s Strategy to Counter ISIL: Exposing ISIL’s True Nature,” outlined the shortcomings of U.S. Public Diplomacy at the American Embassy in Iraq. It highlighted the need to include Public Diplomacy goals in the Embassy's Integrated Country Stategy (ICS) and to prepare a Public Diplomacy Implementation Plan (PDIP).
It’s the body of the report that gives a fuller view of the challenges. This gist includes the full executive summary and then a few excerpts from the body of the report, details which reveal the difficulties faced by officers in the field – staffing turbulence and changes in how the sixth line of effort was viewed in Washington and Baghdad among them. The last part of the report noted that “Embassy Messaging Efforts Are Well Coordinated at Tactical Level,” the “embassy has established productive working relationships with Government of Iraq press professionals and invests in building their capacity to support LOE 6 objectives,” and the value of the Embassy’s cultural heritage preservation programs as part of the fight against ISIL. Here are some key quotes:Read More
Friday, April 1st 2016
A brief summary “Insight” report by Kristin Archick and Paul Belkin of the Congressional Research Service, “European Security and Islamist Terrorism,” issued on March 29, 2016, had just a few mentions of radicalization, extremist propaganda, and the social media, and these were not mentioned in the report’s “Issues for the United States.” The report included these points, however:Read More