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.
Author: Nicholas CullRead More
Friday, January 13th 2017
As history has repeatedly demonstrated, realistic and well-informed consideration of and investment in American public diplomacy, not steroids, make U.S. counter-propaganda successful.
Author: Nicholas J. CullRead More
Sunday, December 20th 2015
There’s an abundant historical literature on Public Diplomacy, and a July 24, 2015, report published by the Legatum Institute, “Counter Propaganda: Cases from US Public Diplomacy and Beyond,” provides a crisp historical review. The author is Professor Nicholas Cull of the University of Southern California, well known as the author of the magisterial The Cold War and the United States Information Agency 1945-1989 (Cambridge University Press, 2008). For Public Diplomacy, propaganda, and counter-propaganda, the report includes principles, case studies, historical lessons learned, and recommendations in only 12 pages of text.
Professor Cull’s review of propaganda through the 1930s is full of cautionary examples, well explains the word’s negative associations, and summarizes the post-World War I debate to define what is licit and illicit. The compact section on World War II and the longer portion on the Cold War are full of instructive examples – too many forgotten – that still echo in America’s approach to Public Diplomacy.Read More
Sunday, February 23rd 2014
Through A Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad by Public Diplomacy Council member Martha Bayles is hot off the presses from the Yale University Press. I had a chance to read an advance copy, and it is lively. She will speak on May 5 at our monthly forum co-hosted with USC. I posed some questions to her.
Q: A foreign visitor returns home, surprised that American society is so different than what she had seen in the movies and on television. You say entertainment projects a "fun house mirror" view of the U.S. PAOs have tens of thousands of dollars to spend. Hollywood has billions. How can Public Diplomacy counter these distorted images and perceptions?
BAYLES: The funding discrepancy is sobering, but there’s nothing new about America’s public diplomats being outspent – by Hollywood, by unfriendly foreign governments, and (in recent years) by the Pentagon. This hasn’t prevented the best of them from making a difference when and where they can.Read More
Sunday, November 17th 2013
As the nation pauses to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy fifty years ago, Public Diplomacy practitioners will recall the famous film made by Bruce Herschensohn for the U.S. Information Agency after the President's death, John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums.
The 86-minute memorial documentary recalled the achievements of the President as the "Years of Lightning." The "Day of Drums" was the day of the President's burial at Arlington Cemetery. The documentary highlighted six "faces" of President Kennedy's New Frontier -- the Peace Corps, the conquest of space, the Alliance for Progress, civil rights, freedom, and peace.Read More