Friday, August 11th 2017
Professional Study in a Public Diplomacy Career
Donald M. Bishop
After their initial “entry level” assignments, most Foreign Service Officers in the Public Diplomacy cone begin their careers with one or more overseas tours as an IO, AIO, CAO, ACAO, APAO, or Consulate PAO. These are the assignments that in time lead to becoming an embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, a member of the Country Team, and the Ambassador’s principal advisor on communication and Public Diplomacy.
It’s a hectic time for Public Diplomacy, and officers in these gateway jobs are so busy that the daily path of least resistance may be to “go with the flow” -- to take on one task at a time, to let the usual run of PAS and Embassy staff meetings fill up the weeks, and let Washington’s deadlines order the work.
The down side of this approach is that it’s passive. It forfeits the initiative that wins recognition and advancement. The promotion panels smile on those officers who make their own breaks with a record of active achievement of U.S. goals.Read More
Sunday, July 30th 2017
Public Diplomacy’s Oral History Interviews
Donald M. Bishop
It’s a commonplace that most historical studies of U.S. public diplomacy have focused on Washington policies, themes, leaders, and decisions.
They have thus slighted how policies were implemented “in the field” -- in other nations, regions, and societies. There’s not much written on how Public Diplomacy officers at U.S. embassies, consulates, and American centers presented the United States to the people of other societies or how they advanced U.S. policies.
Those who want to gain insight into Public Diplomacy as it is implemented overseas will find a valuable resource in the extensive oral history program of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. ASDT’s offices are on the Arlington campus of the George Schultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center. (In the State Department, the NFATC is usually called the Foreign Service Institute, FSI.)Read More
Tuesday, May 23rd 2017
"Asserting U.S. leadership and influence" includes core public diplomacy programs, according to the White House budget for 2018.
We don't have a formal strategy or a reorganization plan from the new administration, but a budget may be the most important statement about its new directions. And this page from the State Department lays out nine major statements so far this year.Read More
Saturday, March 25th 2017
There are also dangers in accepting a post-truth paradigm. Communicators, experts, and officials may feel overwhelmed and succumb to inaction or, worse, be seduced into adopting “post-truth techniques” that appeal only to emotion and sideline facts or challenging audiences’ beliefs.
Author: Ambassador Bruce Wharton, Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public AffairsRead More
Tuesday, March 7th 2017
Since last year there has been an effort at the Voice of America to expand into “investigative reporting”. The best response by VOA’s stakeholders to this effort should be a firm and unequivocal No.
Why? Just look at VOA’s website.
Every day this government agency distributes stories to audiences around the world that are not even written by VOA’s employees. Instead, they’re written by reporters at The Associated Press, or Reuters. And that’s a problem.
The reason is because VOA’s reporters are required by law to follow strict guidelines regulating what kind of stories they should cover and, even more importantly, how to cover them. But outside organizations such as AP don’t have to follow those rules, and when they don’t, that’s a violation of the Charter under which VOA operates.Read More