Thursday, January 5th 2017
Following up on a prior post, here are the abstracts of each chapter in the PDC’s latest book--
Deborah L. Trent
2. Public Diplomacy: Can It Be Defined?
Anthony C. E. QuaintonRead More
Tuesday, January 3rd 2017
Looking for some news you can use in this time of sound-bitten political transition? Or, for a straightforward, yet up-to-date instructional volume? The 11 contributors to Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future provide historical analysis, practice-based evidence, and forward-leaning insights for new and continuing actors in U.S. diplomacy’s expanding public dimension. The book is the U.S.Read More
Thursday, January 28th 2016
Academic and policy discussions of Public Diplomacy, foreign policy, and the media often look back to the war in Vietnam. The Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) in Saigon, which briefed the media daily – the popular term for the briefings was the “Five O’Clock Follies” – was led by USIA legend Barry Zorthian.
Marine Corps Major Herbert J. Bowsher stepped into this contentious past and recapped “10 Lessons of Vietnam” for a new generation of Marines. The whole article in the November, 2015, issue of Marine Corps Gazette, is worth reading, especially by information officers at embassies and public affairs advisors in State Department bureaus. Here’s his Lesson 6, “Understand the Strategic Center of Gravity":Read More
Tuesday, December 15th 2015
“. . . the Voice of America (VOA) is a national security asset, and not only because it is a news organization of extraordinary breadth, depth and reach,” wrote former VOA Director David Ensor, now Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard University. His December 14, 2015, report, “Exporting the First Amendment: Strengthening U.S. Soft Power through Journalism,” is a valuable, detailed, and convictional explanation of the role of U.S. international broadcasters. “VOA is an effort to harness and direct the nation’s soft power by exporting truthful, balanced journalism,” he added, and he posed this question: “What is the proper role of the Voice of America in a world where Vladimir Putin ‘weaponizes information’ and terrorists recruit globally on the Internet?”
Specialists in Public Diplomacy, public affairs, broadcasting, strategic communication, media and social media, information operations, and foreign policy must read the entire report, which begins with a dramatic case study of the Yazidis who fled to Mount Shinjar in August, 2014. The report concludes with Ensor’s recommendations and his views of “what works” (“journalism with values”) and what doesn’t (“policy driven ‘messaging’”).
This gist provides main points, but it necessarily omits the most valuable supporting details, contrasts with other national broadcasting efforts, case studies, and analytics that are included in Ensor’s paper. Again, read the full report!Read More
Wednesday, November 18th 2015
“. . . while last week’s terror attacks in Paris remind us there's no substitute for actionable intelligence, robust law enforcement and hard power, these alone will not be enough to drain the swamps where nihilism, malign nationalism and fanaticism breed. Also needed is the patient and indispensable work of public diplomacy,” wrote Martha Bayles and Jeffrey Gedmin in a November 16, 2015, essay, “America's Voice Must Be Heard,” in Politico. Bayles, who teaches humanities at Boston College, is a member of the Public Diplomacy Council, and Gedmin (formerly President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) is a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University.
Their essay addresses many of the fundamental questions facing U.S. Public Diplomacy and broadcasting, so it’s worth reading in its entirety, especially the last four bullets on content, so congruent with the views of Edward R. Murrow. “Public diplomacy must not shy away from presenting America as a noble experiment in which the better angels of human nature have a chance, at least, to prevail against the worse.”
- If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on, it’s that America is getting beaten in the 21st-century war of ideas. Our adversaries today are not united in a single worldview. But they do share a common hostility toward liberal democracy. And Russia, China and ISIL are all skilled at expressing this hostility through state-of-the-art propaganda.