“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,…

TV camera pointed at announcer in a studio

U.S-Funded Overseas Media: Foundations for a New Leadership Team? 

October heralds the formation of a new management team overseeing the nation’s five taxpayer-funded networks that reach an estimated unduplicated 345 million users online, TV and radio listeners each week. The networks are the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE-RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), The Middle East Broadcast Network (NBN) in Arabic.…

Memories of Lou Olom (1917-2019)

Lou was one of the most thoughtful, dedicated, and politically savvy public diplomacy professionals of his generation.  Louis T. Olom (1917-2019), a career civil servant, will be remembered for his many contributions to public diplomacy during the years in which it was gradually gaining acceptance as a field of professional practice in US diplomacy. Lou’s…