Enhancing the Spread of True Facts: VOA’s Expanding Role

Voice of America Director Amanda Bennett, in a wide-ranging conversation Nov. 6 with American University students and public diplomacy advocates, reminded her audience that VOA “is all about a free press.” Examples abound:  A VOA multilingual VOA team has been in Hong Kong to report pro-democracy demonstrations in that Chinese territory. Objective journalism IS public…

“Propaganda in Reverse”

“Jingoist newspaper articles, or thoughtlessly provocative speeches in Congress, may become propaganda in reverse.” This was the 1963 observation of emeritus Princeton professor of politics John B. Whitton (1892-1977) in his book Propaganda and the Cold War (Washington, Public Affairs Press, 1963, pp. 10-11).  His chapter on “The American Effort Challenged” included a subhead —…

People, Values and U.S. International Leadership

Our People and Our Values Are the Core of U.S. International Leadership A Statement by PDC and PDAA Boards of Directors October 31, 2019   As Board members of the Public Diplomacy Council and the Public Diplomacy Association of America, non-partisan organizations of professionals committed to U.S. global leadership, we support all public servants who…

Edward G. Lansdale, 1956. Credit: USAF Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center.

Ed Lansdale, Vietnam, “Sharp Power” and “Psychological”

                The disinformation, propaganda, and malign narratives that now trouble international relations reach beyond the traditional Public Diplomacy frames of “mutual understanding,” “winning hearts and minds” and “soft power.” They are tools of “sharp power,” defined by the National Endowment for Democracy as “authoritarian influence efforts” that “pierce,…