Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Saturday, May 30th 2015
Six Fulbright students have recently participated in the trans-continental Fulbright-Millennial Trains Project, a special enrichment program thanks to the collaboration of the Millennial Trains Project and City Year with the Department of State. Their blogging reflects how they have experienced the
Thursday, May 28th 2015
On May 20, 2015, Sean D. Naylor reported remarks by Army Brigadier General Kurt Crytzer, deputy commander of Central Command's special operations command, at a conference in Tampa. His article, “Top U.S. General: Many Iraqis Believe Washington Aiding Islamic State,” appeared on the website of Foreign Policy magazine.
The general in charge of U.S. special operations forces in Iraq for the past six months says Washington’s information campaign in the Middle East is so inadequate that many Iraqi troops believe American forces are secretly supplying the Islamic State — potentially leaving U.S. forces vulnerable to reprisal attacks from their nominal allies in the fight against the militants.
Tuesday, May 26th 2015
In an essay that appeared in the New York Times on May 24, “The New Dictators Rule by Velvet Fist,” Serei Guriev (professor of economics at Sciences Po, Paris) and Daniel Treisman (professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles) point to the use of propaganda and disinformation as part of the architecture of modern authoritarianism and dictatorship. To my mind, their analysis points once more to the need to relearn old lessons and robustly counter propaganda, disinformation, censorship, and malign narratives. Public Diplomacy’s writ must address them as part of the freedom agenda.
The new autocrats use propaganda, censorship and other information-based tricks to inflate their ratings and to convince citizens of their superiority over available alternatives. They peddle an amorphous anti-Western resentment: [Hungary's] Mr. Orban mocked Europe’s political correctness and declining competitiveness while soliciting European Union development aid.
Saturday, May 16th 2015
Writing in the University of Southern California Center for Public Diplomacy’s CPD Blog on April 24, Kim Andrew Elliott, an audience research analyst at the International Broadcasting Bureau, outlined “A Market-Based Strategy of International Broadcasting.”
A market-based international broadcasting strategy, informed by a uses-and-gratifications perspective, centered on the audience’s own strategy of seeking information from abroad, does not require so many pages of detail. It can be sketched out on the back of an envelope: (1) Find out what audiences are seeking information from foreign sources, because of government control or other deficiencies of their domestic journalism. (2) Determine which media both the audience and broadcaster have access to, keeping in mind that, in many countries, the most popular media are not available to foreign entities. (3) Give the audience the content they want.
Friday, May 15th 2015
As an enterprise that includes both journalism and public diplomacy – two disciplines that have lately been undergoing seismic changes – the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the bipartisan group of presidential appointees who oversee America’s stable of international broadcasters, is facing growing demands that it, too, needs to make some major changes.