Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 26

“Damn you, English language!”

--A Tweet, as noted by Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman, “All-Purpose Pronoun,” New York Times; image from


Hot, Flat and Shrouded: Global Diplomacy Materializes From Decentralized Social Media - Mark Drapeau, Washington Life Magazine: "For the State Department and other U.S. government operations, figuring out how social media amplifies local issues into global ones requires more than knowing how to blog. … In the 'wild west' of social media, low barriers to entry, lack of user authentication, unlimited personal accounts, and lack of penalties for misuse lead to fake accounts spreading propaganda and even arresting people who tweet against authority. But it’s not clear who in the government is in charge of monitoring and influencing this world of information-sharing. … There are excellent senior leaders in Washington bridging the gap between the technology and government communities. Colleen Graffy, former deputy assistant secretary for public diplomacy at the State Department, used Twitter to network with Washingtonians (I first met her at a 'tweet-up' - a gathering organized entirely via Twitter) while preparing to utilize social media on a global tour." Image from

Spinning the Globe? U.S. Public Diplomacy and Foreign Public Opinion - Benjamin E. Goldsmith and Yusaku Horiuchi, The Journal of Politics (2009), 71: 863-875: “Abstract [:] Global public opinion has emerged as a prominent issue in international relations. But have U.S. public diplomacy efforts during the post-9/11 period successfully improved foreign publics’ appraisals of U.S. foreign policy? We examine this question by estimating the effects of U.S. high-level visits to foreign countries on public opinion in those countries. We base our theoretical arguments on the political communication literature, but extend them to consider transnational dynamics in international relations. Specifically, we argue that U.S. leaders’ credibility in the eyes of foreign publics is critical in shaping attitudes toward U.S. foreign policy. Empirically, we show that the effects of such visits were initially significantly large and positive, but weakened once the war in Iraq began and international media started reporting negative aspects of the ‘war on terror.’ Most interestingly, we find some evidence that high-level visits eventually exhibited a backlash effect”. See also (1) (2)

The Kid, Kay and me: Ken Griffey, Jr – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "Ken Griffey, Jr. burst onto the baseball scene in 1989. His father Ken Griffey had been a talented major leaguer, and 'the Kid' was an ubertalented 19 year old phenom coming up in the Seattle Mariners organization. … Always an example of class, he is assured to be a Hall of Famer. He even aided American Public Diplomacy efforts, serving as a Public Diplomacy envoy to teach baseball to Central America. He recently returned to Seattle to end his career in the place where the legend began."

Question: what does it mean if the demographic of two-thirds of your audience is not your target demographic? - Matt Armstrong, "In the practice of public relations, public diplomacy, public affairs, or strategic communication what does it mean if 67% – 70% of your audience is a demographic you’re not supposed to target? a) you’re filling a void b) you’re not fulfilling your mission c) the rule is bad Your thoughts?" Image from

Interview with Nicolas Papadopoulos - Forum Διεθνούς Επικοινωνιακής Πολιτικής: "Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding: Is there difference between the two terms or do they mean exactly the same thing? [Nicolas Papadopoulos:] They are a little bit overlapping but I wouldn’t say that they are the same. I would imagine that public diplomacy would include some activities and concepts that normally one would not classify as marketing. But that depends on how one can understand public diplomacy. What is public diplomacy? l worked together with Simon Anholt and we launched a journal called Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

and we had a lot of discussions in these two years. One of our big arguments was that if you say public diplomacy and place branding, it means two different things. I said why don’t you leave it as ‘place branding’ and let it include everything. And if you look carefully in the very beginning of the first year of the journal, he was using ‘place branding’ and then he changed it without telling me because he needed to attract the diplomats. Nation branding – I prefer to call it nation marketing. The fully accurate term is place marketing because it is not only nation, it is city or else. Place marketing, since it is marketing; it includes a lot of things that go very much beyond diplomacy and communication. Marketing includes pricing, distribution, packaging, corporate design etc. Therefore, I see public diplomacy as one manifestation of place marketing." Image from

Will "China Craze" bring an audience to CCTV's new Arabic channel? - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "So, foreign television channels broadcasting full or part time in Arabic: Alhurra, BBC Arabic, DW-TV, France 24, Russia Today (Russia Al Youm), EuroNews, Al Alam (Iran), Sat-7 (religious). Am I forgetting any?"

BBC NEWS Asia-Pacific – China launches Propaganda Arabic TV channel - euraktiva: "China is launching an Arabic-language TV channel to show the Middle East and North Africa the 'real' China. China Central Television’s station will broadcast news, entertainment and cultural programmes 24 hours a day. It is part of the Chinese government’s plan to promote its own viewpoints by encouraging state-controlled media organisations to go global." Image from article


New academy looks to foster performing arts - Thierry Nammour, The Daily Star, Lebanon: "BEIRUT: Youth Excellence on Stage Lebanon (YES) will soon launch a new summer academy dedicated to helping teenagers and young adults develop their talents related to the performing arts. YES Lebanon is a two-week long academy that will take place at the American Community School (ACS) from the August 1 to 15. The academy is founded by the Houston-based non-governmental organization American Voices,

a cultural diplomacy organization created in 1993." Image from

Legendary Mary Wilson of The Supremes to Perform at Musicians For Harmony's Eighth Annual “Concert for Peace" "Superstar Mary Wilson ...

is renowned for her role as a founding member of the legendary Supremes. In recent years, she has become well known in cultural diplomacy circles for her efforts on behalf of women's health, removal of landmines, AIDS research and numerous other causes. She is a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. State Department and was recently named spokeswoman for the Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI." Image from article

After years of violence, Algerians have some fun - Lamine Chikhi, Reuters: "For two weeks, this former colonial city [Algiers] has been hosting a festival of African dance, theatre, music and art designed to let the world know normal life is slowly returning to Algeria, and to allow people to let their hair down. … Algeria has a political motive, too, in staging the festival: to use the power of cultural diplomacy to enhance its influence in Africa."

The kindness of Bolulular – Rebecca Doffing, Today’s Zaman: "There I was, hitching a ride up to Kartalkaya with the police chief of Bolu. While I had set out on this trip expecting adventure and excitement, I had counted on those occurring on the ski slopes of Kartalkaya, where I was planning to spend a day skiing with a friend from İstanbul.

Instead, our trip indelibly impressed on us how hospitable Turks really can be and how incredibly kind the residents of Bolu are. … On we went and finally turned up at one of the hotels at the top of Kartalkaya, where our hosts refused any repayment but did let us treat them to tea. I had brought homemade chocolate chip cookies along, and we shared them with the chief and his friend -- it was highly successful cultural diplomacy." Kartalkaya image from


Confidence in Obama Lifts U.S. Image Around the World: Most Muslim Publics Not So Easily MovedPew Global Attitudes Project. See also.

Foreign policy: Do Obama's globe-trotters play? The president is calling the shots, but it remains to be seen if his team of rivals can keep working together - Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times: Six months into his presidency, it's clear that Obama intends to remain deeply engaged in foreign policy, even as domestic issues command his attention. Can his overqualified team continue to work as seamlessly as it has until now? Not likely; tough, potentially divisive decisions lie ahead on issues such as Israel and Iran. But it won't be dull. Image from

The Obama doctrine: Opening a pathway to America's decline - Jeffrey T. Kuhner, Washington Times: At its core, the Obama Doctrine maintains that all societies and cultures are morally equal. More important, promoting democracy and human rights has been abandoned in favor of "improving America's standing in the world."

Iraq to send students to colleges in US, abroad - Anne Sanner, The Associated Press, Washington Post: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday his country plans to send up to 10,000 Iraqi students per year to colleges in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia over the next five years as a part of a new scholarship program.

Twitter is Blocked in Iran … And in The White House - Adam Ostrow, Mashable: The Social Media Guide: With more than 2.5 million followers between @BarackObama and @WhiteHouse, TwitterTwitter is a big part of the Obama administration’s social media presence. So, it would be rather ironic if the microblogging service was blocked from White House computers. But, that’s exactly what Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in an interview today with CSPAN. Image from

The Losers Hang On - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: To the extent that the radical Islamists have any energy today, it comes not from the power of their ideas or examples of good governance, but by stoking sectarian feuds.

The South Korean DVD that the North loves to watch - David McNeill, The Independent: So popular is the stream of smuggled soap operas, movies and pop music from the South that Pyongyang has dispatched teams of thought-control agents, known as "109 squads", to confiscate tapes and arrest smugglers, according to a paper by the South Korean think-tank the Korea Institute for National Unification. Via

Book review: 'Why America Fights' by Susan A. Brewer - Philip Seib, Dallas Morning News: Why America Fights does not traverse much new ground, but it is valuable because it illustrates the breadth of deception and the cumulative damage a century of propaganda has done to America. It makes clear how integral propaganda and news manipulation are in the foreign policy process. For those who wield political power, this is an appealingly lazy kind of governance. The American presidents who presided over propaganda campaigns shared one characteristic: their failure to trust the American people with the truth. That trait undermines democracy, weakening the nation at home and in the eyes of the world.

Calvin and American Exceptionalism - Damon Linker, New Republic: Born five hundred years ago today, Calvin deepened the Protestant Reformation by building on Martin Luther's break from Rome, formulating a sternly ascetic version of Christian piety that, as Max Weber powerfully argued more than a century ago, inadvertently laid the psychological groundwork for the development of capitalism. Historically significant is the profound impact of Calvinist assumptions on the formation of American patriotism --

and in particular on the country's sense of itself as an exceptional nation empowered by providence to bring democracy, liberty, and Christian redemption to the world. It is this persistent theological self-confidence (some would say over-confidence) that distinguishes American patriotism from expressions of communal feeling in any other modern nation -- and that demonstrates our nation's unexpected but nonetheless decisive debt to John Calvin. Image from


--Undated Image from

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