Public Diplomacy: Truth-Power in a Digital Age

It was October 15. 2015. The Broadcasting Board of Governors, recently renamed the U.S. Agency for Global Media, heard some sound advice about the power of the five taxpayer-funded multimedia networks it leads. “To state the obvious,” guest speaker Adam Clayton Powell III told the Board, “not everything is true, some things are provably false.…

Powell, Singer, Brooking address an audience

How classic propaganda tactics weaponize social media

If you participate in social media, you are being spun.  And that’s a problem for government communicators, especially in public diplomacy. LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, published just two months ago, has been termed by Amazon Press as “the best book of 2018”.  The book’s co-authors, noted scholars of 21st century new media Peter W.…

Don Bishop speaks from a podium

Public Diplomacy: Old organization, New Trends, and Ways Forward

Remarks of Donald M. Bishop Public Diplomacy Council First Monday Forum “The History and Future of Public Diplomacy” November 6, 2018 My colleagues on the panel will, I am confident, touch on the large issues that engage Public Diplomacy in the Foreign Service, serving America’s goals in the world – issues like democracy, exchanges, culture…

Cynthia and Panel

Public Diplomacy: Hopes and Fears at a Landmark Anniversary

Thirty years ago, a group of retired and active foreign service officers founded the Public Diplomacy Foundation. Their successors held a round-table November 5 at George Washington University (GWU), a close-up assessment of the state of this fine art of people-to- people dialogues today. The event was co-sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Council, successor to…

Voting booths on a table top

Autumn 2018: Two National Elections in Starkly Different Settings

If you have voted for a new parliament in Afghanistan, or are a U.S. citizen planning to cast your ballot November 8, pause — and consider the contrasts. These came to mind at a briefing by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which surveys its audiences and shares results.  In Afghanistan, half of eligible…

World’s Fairs: Back Again in America’s Global Outreach

After nearly two decades, the U.S. has now rejoined the universe of Global Expos — more commonly known as World’s Fairs. Jim Core, director of the State Department’s tiny restored international expositions unit, is enthusiastic about the prospects. “These fairs,” he said, “are the Olympics of U.S. public diplomacy.” He was addressing the Public Diplomacy…

Thilivhali Ratshitanga, a political counsellor at the Embassy of South Africa in Washington D.C. listens to a panel speak about Nelson Mandela.

Celebrating the Life and Lasting Legacy of Global Citizen: Nelson Mandela

The First Monday Forum on July 2018: Nelson Mandela Centennial, featured a panel of speakers: Dr. Bob Wekesa from the department of journalism and mass studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Ron Nixon, the Homeland Security correspondent for The New York Times and author of, Selling Apartheid: South Africa’s Global Propaganda…