Canada's PD Director Discusses Sesquicentennial Strategy

"We cannot rely solely on the star power of our Prime Minister," Vikas Sharma told the First Monday Forum audience. The director of Canada's public diplomacy office reviewed PD themes and tactics behind Canada's 150th anniversary celebration.

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

Does International Broadcasting Cost Too Much?

Thursday, October 28th 2010

Older Washingtonians will remember the retail mogul Robert Haft, who cut his own radio commercial saying, "Books cost too much!  That's why I started Crown Books."

Kim Andrew Elliott all but repeats slogan referring to United States international broadcasting.  In the recent issue of the Foreign Service Journal, devoted to government-funded broadcasting, the IBB research analyst does some cuff calculations and concludes: "The global audience of USIB [U.S. international broadcasting), 171 million listeners weekly, is about the same as that of BBC World Service.  However, USIB achieves that audience on a budget of $727 million, while the BBC World Service attracts the slightly larger audience with budget of just $420 million.

The new Broadcasting Board of Governors has launched a wide-ranging review that may affect all five organizations under its umbrella.  Elliott points out the savings that could be achieved through sharing of content and administrative costs.

Vested interests will quibble with Elliott's numbers and cite the complexities of mixing grantee organizations with IBB and VOA, which are federal agencies.  But the towering U.S. budget deficit forces everyone in public diplomacy to ask the question: does this cost too much?

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Joe B. Johnson

Board member

 

Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy.

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Author: Joe Johnson

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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