U.S. engagement with global audiences: the state of the art

Jean Manes, Principal Deputy Coordinator for International Information Programs at the U.S. State Department, reviewed today's toolset for engagement with the foreign public (Manes shown here with Council President Adam Clayton Powell III.)  She illustrated how social media and American Centers offer the possibility of two-way communication, the perennial goal of public diplomacy.  Manes appeared at First Monday Forum, co-sponsored by the Council with the University of Southern California.

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PD commentary

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

Quotable: Tom Cotton on energizing Public Diplomacy

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.

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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: Anne Applebaum on Russia’s state-run media machine

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?

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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: Anne Applebaum on Soviet thirst for knowledge of the U.S.

Friday, November 27th 2015

Anne Applebaum opened her article “Russia and the Great Forgetting,” in the December, 2015, issue of Commentary magazine with memories of Moscow in the last decade of the Cold War.  While she was an American graduate student, America’s Public Diplomacy people – through broadcasts, magazines, exhibitions, and many other programs – were feeding the desire for knowledge of the United States even as the Soviet authorities were trying to restrict or distort information on the their Cold War foe.

 

The Russians I met . . . . wanted newspapers, magazines, anything with photographs of the United States. They also wanted to talk about the United States—a lot. The intellectuals would ask about politics, or about literary trends, or whether there was really a Communist party in America. Others wanted to know how much our cars cost, and whether working-class people in America really owned houses. None of them had ever been abroad, and in those pre-Internet, pre-satellite-television days, even sophisticated Leningraders could be effectively cut off from the outside world. . . . They suspected that much of what they had been told was false, but they weren’t absolutely certain.

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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: David Ensor on a strong and credible Voice of America

Thursday, November 26th 2015

In a November 23, 2015, op-ed in Politico, David Ensor, the former Director of the Voice of America now at the Shorenstein Center at Harvard, said “No, Governor Kasich, Voice of America’s Not About ‘Judeo-Christian’ Values.”  (Kasich’s original comments on Public Diplomacy and broadcasting are summarized here.)    

 

VOA is “hardly ‘dormant,’ as Kasich suggests,” he wrote.  Ensor pointed to “a new model of partnerships with television and radio stations showing great promise” (citing Ukraine and Kurdish Iraq as examples); audience growth in Nigeria, Mexico, China, Russia, and Africa; and other initiatives.  Listening to VOA in Iran is illegal, but a “quarter of Iranians watch VOA satellite TV at least once a week.”  “VOA is in fact one of the world’s largest, most influential media organizations.”

 

Some bullet points of this important piece are below, reordered for a few themes.  Those in search of initiatives in the “war of ideas” may be most interested in Ensor’s four proposals.

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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

Classic Quotable: Stephen Vincent Benet on North Korean hatreds

Tuesday, November 24th 2015

News Item (AP, 25 Jun 2015) -- June is something like Hate America Month in North Korea.

Officially, it’s called “Struggle Against U.S. Imperialism Month” and — more so than usual — it’s a time for North Koreans to swarm to war museums, mobilize for gatherings denouncing the evils of the United States and join in a general, nationwide whipping up of anti-American sentiment.

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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

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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