Russia

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VOA against the "Firehose of Falsehoods"

Monday, June 12th 2017

Here's an analysis by Council Member Alan Heil based on our First Monday Forum last week.

 

In a briefing to a record crowd at the First Monday forum of the Public Diplomacy Council and USC’s Annenberg School June 5, the State Department’s senior advisor to the Helsinki Commission laid out principles for meeting those challenges.

As Scott Rauland put it:  “Don’t expect to combat the firehose of falsehoods with a squirt gun of truth.”

The senior diplomat applauded the February rollout of Current Time, a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and VOA joint 24-hour multimedia stream in Russian to more than 30 affiliates in countries surrounding Russia and two million users in that country via satellite.

With expanded resources, the “squirt gun of truth” may yet, with adequate investment, become a veritable water cannon of high quality, objective news, helping to foster a thirst for truth.  Advancing freedom and democracy, fighting poverty and disease and raising the hopes of millions around the globe clearly is vital to U.S. national defense.

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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 Echo Chamber

Tuesday, May 9th 2017

I still remember a very old New Yorker cartoon showing two dogs -- one at a computer, remarking to its friend: "On the Internet, no one knows I'm a dog."

That's no longer funny in a world where robots amplify propaganda messages and can even write news stories of their own.  That Twitter handler you're following may belong to a robot ... or to a human troll contracted by a foreign power.  Samel Woolley, director of research at Oxford's Internet Institute, reports: "Security experts argue that more than 10 percent of content across social media websites, and 62 percent of all web traffic, is generated by bots."

You can read Wooley's article and a dozen others in the Public Diplomacy Advisory Commission's latest report: "Can Public Diplomacy Survive the Internet?" Today I heard former Congressman Mike Rogers and five panelists, most authors of the report, discuss the issue at the Commission's panel discussion “Echo Chambers, Artificial Intelligence, and Bot-Driven Disinformation: New Challenges in Public Diplomacy.” 

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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.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Joe Johnson

Quotable: Nicholas Cull on expose, engage, and enhance

Thursday, January 19th 2017

The most effective western responses to the challenge of Kremlin media fall across three categories of action: exposure of Russian disinformation, engagement with endangered populations and enhancement of local media.

 

Headline:     Engaging foreign publics in the age of Trump and Putin: Three implications of 2016 for public diplomacy

 

Author:         Nicholas Cull     

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: Matt Armstrong on the institutions of information, influence, and opinion

Thursday, January 19th 2017

“You can call it ‘information warfare,’ ‘hybrid warfare,’ or ‘political warfare,’ but whatever you call it, an adversary’s attempts to shape the minds and will of people toward a political end is not new to the United States. Nor will this be the first time the United States sought to wield these weapons against its foes.”

* * * * *

. . . by blocking the development and deployment of civilian and overt activities, Fulbright’s actions on the Freedom Academy and the Smith-Mundt Act have done more to militarize American foreign policy than any other single act by denying Congress, policymakers, and practitioners critical experience, methods, and historical precedent to properly defend the nation through nonmilitary means.

 

Article:         The Past, Present, and Future of the War for Public Opinion

 

Author:         Matthew Armstrong

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

Quotable: President Obama on Russian interference in the U.S. election

Sunday, January 15th 2017

“Number one, the Russians sought to interfere with the election process -- that the cyber hacking that took place by the Russians was part of that campaign, and that they had a clear preference in terms of outcomes.”

 

Headline:  'This Week' Transcript: President Barack Obama

 

Interviewed by:  George Stephanopoulos

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

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