New VOA Director Outlines Approach for News Broadcasting

Amanda Bennett, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist appointed to head the Voice of America, called for "exciting, unique content that speaks to the advantages of the U.S." as the hallmark of the U.S. Government's international broadcasting service.  She spoke at the First Monday Communication Leadership Forum on May 2.

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PD commentary

Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field

Quotable: Rusty Pickens on State’s Bureau of International Information Programs

Saturday, March 5th 2016

Rusty Pickens was the acting director of new media technologies at the White House until he moved to the Bureau of International Information Programs at the Department of State as senior advisor for digital platforms.  IIP is one of the three bureaus that report to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.  Aaron Boyd recently interviewed him on “digitizing citizen engagement with the White House and how he plans to apply the lessons-learned to communicating American ideals abroad.”  The interview, “Digitizing citizen engagement from White House to the world,” ran on the Federal Times website on February 19, 2016.  His focus has been “really promoting American values abroad in a nice centralized, cloud-based manner that is flexible enough that it can grow and live with the agency as it evolves beyond inauguration day next year.”

 

The lengthy interview first discussed legacy systems, new technology, the cloud, and IT transitions at the White House.  Here’s the portion of the interview on IIP:

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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Cynthia Schneider on the American brand and many voices

Saturday, March 5th 2016

“During the Cold War, the American brand — whether communicated in films, jazz, or rock and roll music — stood for freedom of expression, of movement, and from government oppression. The same is not true today, when the American brand is just as likely to serve as a recruiting tool for the Islamic State.”  Former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands Cynthia Schneider, now at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, thus opened her February 19, 2016 article, “The Problem With John Kerry’s Trip to Hollywood“ on the Foreign Affairs website.  “For many in the Middle East, Europe, and, apparently in the United States (San Bernardino), the American brand — even if unfairly — evokes the Iraq War, Guantanamo, support for oppressive governments like those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and apostasy,” she added. 

 

Her article proposed a paradigm shift in Public Diplomacy – where citizens, rather than the U.S. government, take the lead.  These should include “creative voices from Muslim majority communities.”  Here are some key points:

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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Kim Andrew Elliott on market-based international broadcasting

Saturday, March 5th 2016

“Measurement of media impact” was the topic of a February 1, 2016, essay by Kim Andrew Elliott, “The Negative Impact of ‘Impact.’” Posted on the USC Public Diplomacy blog on February 1, 2016, the essay was also a statement of international broadcasting philosophy.  According to Elliott, “only a few uncommonly wise national governments allow their international broadcasting outlets the independence necessary to achieve the credibility required to attract an audience.”  Here are key quotes:

 

  • In public diplomacy, the need to assess impact is readily apparent. Public diplomacy is a persuasive activity. Stakeholders want to know if the effort was able to “move the needle.”

 

  • The audience for international broadcasting seeks news and information that is more objective than the news they get from their state-controlled domestic media. Their domestic media designed to rally support for the regime and its policies. The audience for international broadcasting seeks relief from that type of content. They want to be comprehensively and truthfully informed.
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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Reuters on a changed U.S. strategy against online extremism

Saturday, March 5th 2016

“The U.S. government, acknowledging its limited success in combating Islamic extremist messaging, is recruiting tech companies, community organizations and educational groups to take the lead in disrupting online radicalization.”  This opened a February 24, 2016, Reuters dispatch by Julia Harte and Dustin Volz, “U.S. looks to Facebook, private groups to battle online extremism.”  Here are a few key quotes from their news report:

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A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

A New Era in U.S. International Broadcasting?

Friday, March 4th 2016

“It’s a whirlwind of positive change.”   Summing up the recent (February 26) bimonthly public meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (the BBG), the acting chairman of the Board for that session, Michael Kempner, reflected on the unprecedented innovations and fresh energy that have characterized America’s publically-funded international broadcasting over the past six months.

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Alan L. Heil Jr.

Board member

Summary: As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 125 million people in 44 languages.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Alan Heil

The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Founded in 1988, the Council serves the community of public diplomacy professionals, professors and students interested in public diplomacy.

 

 

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