International Broadcasting

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The Voice of America: A worthy mission for the 21st century

Friday, August 22nd 2014

By Joseph B. Bruns. Mr. Bruns served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of VOA. He was the first Director of the IBB. Bruns also held several senior position at USIA. He recently retired as COO of WETA after 15 years in public broadcasting.

Recently, there has been a great deal of debate, and no small amount of axe grinding, regarding the mission and the effectiveness of US international broadcasting under the Broadcasting Board of Governors. This debate has now been brought to a head with the passage in the House of Representatives of the boldly named US International Communications Reform Act of 2014, HR 4490, which would create a new structure for US international broadcasting and attempts to create a division of responsibility between the VOA and the multiple surrogate services such as Radio Free Asia, which have proliferated since the end of the Cold War. The authors of the legislation take the view that efficiency is better served by consolidating all of the surrogate services together under a new board, and then turning VOA, with its own separate board, into a specialized service, a kind of super Washington news bureau, reporting only on the United States news, interests and policies. 

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Please contact PDC Graduate Fellow Tara Schoenborn at taraschoenborn@gmail.com to inquire about contributing to the Public Diplomacy Council website. 

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Author: Guest Contributor

Tech@State on Freedom To Connect

Saturday, March 9th 2013

Yesterday's Internet Freedom conference sponsored by Tech@State spanned broadcasting and public diplomacy. And everything else. More than 50 technologists discussed the global tug of war between human rights and repression, economic development and cyber attacks, and the erosion of privacy.

Talking with State Department public diplomats I rarely hear of this topic. I wonder how that will change when (probably not "if") the United States suffers a zero-day attack.

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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

America Votes -- As the World Listens, Watches and Blogs

Friday, November 9th 2012

Posting this article on behalf of my blogger colleague Alan Heil.

 

It has been a week of stunning contrasts:  the world’s largest democracy, the United States, re-elects a president and other key leaders on Tuesday in which 118 million citizens, including earlier absentee voters, cast their ballots.

Less than 48 hours later,  the world’s largest authoritarian government, the Peoples Republic of China, convenes a communist party congress in Beijing.   That forum in a few days will announce new top leadership pre-selected behind closed doors by a tiny fraction of its 1.2 billion citizens, installing a new party chairman, Xi Jinping, and a powerful politburo standing committee whose members have not yet been made public.

By all accounts, that contrast should be a Western public diplomacy practitioner’s dream.

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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

Public Diplomacy in the Long Run

Tuesday, October 16th 2012

John Cale, a founder of the Velvet Underground and prolific musical innovator, explained in a recent interview what set his direction at age fifteen, when he was a viola student in Wales.  "There was this fella called Willis Conover," he began.  The legendary Voice of America jazz broadcaster spun Miles Davis records that Cale struggled to understand.

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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

Council Calls for Release of Journalists Held in Syria

Thursday, August 30th 2012

PDC Also Calls for the Immediate Release of Journalists Held in Syria

The Public Diplomacy Council joins the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in calling for the immediate release of two journalists of the U.S.-funded Alhurra TV network in Arabic held for the past week in Syria. The Council endorses the BBG statement urging the Syrian government to ensure their safety.

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Author: Lisa Heyn

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