Friday, January 15, 2010

January 15

"Stress but do not emphasize."

--One Office of War Information (OWI, 1942-1945) guidance on how to report a presidential speech; cited in Holly Cowan Shulman, The Voice of America: Propaganda and Democracy, 1941-1945 (1990) p. 158; image from


State Department Briefing by Phillip J. Crowley, January 14, 2010 - eNews Park Forest - "MR. CROWLEY: Good afternoon and welcome to the Department of State. To begin, we are saddened to report that Ms. Victoria DeLong, a cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince, died in the collapse of her home following the earthquake in Haiti. Her next of kin have been notified. Ms. DeLong served in Haiti since February 2009 and at the State Department since November 1983. It’s a tragedy for the State Department and for our family in the public diplomacy and public affairs world. Some of you who are old-timers here – she was previously – did serve in our Bureau of Public Affairs during her career."

The Calm Before The Storm in Haiti - Galrahn, Som Post: "One topic kept popping up today among many observers: why is China kicking the State Department's ass in strategic communication in Haiti? It doesn't look good when somehow the Chinese can get a fully loaded plane into Haiti all the way from China before we can get many of our own search and rescue teams in from the US. I sat dumbfounded watching CNN this afternoon seeing a big red Chinese flag

waiving in the background, and became frustrated when I saw a different Chinese flag an hour later behind an NBC reporter in a different area. There cannot possibly be that many Chinese in Haiti already, and they did bring humanitarian supplies and not flags, right? What the heck is going on? This is soft power; symbolism and perception matters a lot to achieving strategic objectives in disaster recovery and humanitarian response operations. In the opening hours of crisis, the people are still in shock. The first 48 hours is the calm before the storm, and every detail in public communication and public diplomacy matters. I was seriously impressed when I saw State Department folks engaged in an actual conversation on Twitter today, but every element of government needs to get organized a bit better in the online space." Image from

Is al-Qaeda winning? - Marwan Bishara - (blog): "As military adventures kill, maim and destroy lives, they create, nurture and build animosities and 'alliances' among most unlikely allies, such as a young rich Nigerian that studies in London, a Jordanian doctor that studies in Turkey and an Arab-American soldier trained by the Pentagon, all whom were ready to die to hurt America. And likewise, counter terror tactics and intelligence work has made it ever more difficult for public diplomacy to 'win hearts and minds'. Instead of listening to people of the region, it has been spying on them and instead of reading them their rights, it has tortured them in far-away prisons. And instead of hearing out their concerns and fears, Washington has underlined its own above all others."

Two Officials, Two Visions of Public Diplomacy -- And The Israeli-Turkish On-Camera Dust-up - Mark Taplin, Global Publicks:

"Per our class discussion this morning, here are the links to remarks by Jim Glassman and Judith McHale that illustrate their different strategic visions for U.S. public diplomacy. Glassman's speech to an April 2009 conference of military information operations professionals is here; McHale, the current Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, spoke at Harvard last September." Image from

Hey, the meetings of the new BBG could be interesting - Kim Andrew Elliott Reporting on International Broadcasting: "Too bad all BBG [Boadcasting Board of Governors] meetings are closed. As my career sputters towards its conclusion, I am interested in meetings only for their entertainment value."

US-funded Pashto radio service launched in Af-Pak - Lalit K Jha, Press Trust of India: "Washington, Jan 15 (PTI) Radio Mashaal, a US Congress-funded Pashto radio service went on air in Afghanistan today in an effort to counter the propaganda machine of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The radio to be run by Czech-based Radio free liberty is being beemed for listeners in southern, eastern and tribal areas of Afghanistan bordering Pakistan.The broadcaster said the service is being launched to provide an alternative to Islamic extremists stations in the border region with Afghanistan.The new Radio began broadcasting today in the local Pashto dialect." Below image from

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal: duplication puts the "torch" to the taxpayers' dollars. - Kim Andrew Elliott Reporting on International Broadcasting: "I'm sure Radio Mashaal will do a good job. But it will do much the same job that VOA's Deewa Radio is already doing, in the same language, to the same target area. Put together the talent from these two stations, and US international broadcasting would be in danger of achieving excellence. This was not the idea of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Some senator put some language in some appropriations bill, and Radio Mashaal was created. Such shards of bad legislation have made US international broadcasting the archetype of organizational inefficiency."

Rekindled - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I wandered over to the centro cultural and looked at old photos of Managua. It struck me that the litany of capitals (D.F., Guate, San Salv, Teguc and Managua) I have visited on the great trek south all have 'Calle Roosevelt.' It is a tribute to Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy and a stirring reminder to the power of public diplomacy done well."

Check Out the Consortium for Strategic Communication – On War and Words: "The Consortium for Strategic Communication (CSC) describes itself as follows: 'an initiative of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. It is composed of an interdisciplinary group of scholars at ASU and partner institutions who are interested in applying knowledge of human communication to issues of countering ideological support for terrorism (CIST), diplomacy and public diplomacy.' Dr. Steven Corman

heads up the CSC. I’ve heard him speak several times and I have always found the things that come out of the CSC to be thought-provoking." Corman image from

South Korea: Update on a country taking nation taking nation branding seriously - Andreas Markessinis, Nation Branding: "South Korea launched in January 2009 an ambitious nation branding programme. Throughout the year, South Korea’s nation branding has been very active following its 10-points action plan, which sets the 10 goals South Korea’s presidential nation branding council adopted to upgrade the nation’s global image.

As of today, South Korea has created World Friends Korea, the Korean version of the American Peace Corps. It has also explored ways to make the most out of its popular TV soap-operas and dramas, which is no minor issue – you’ll be surprised that except for Hollywood, Korean male celebrities are now among the highest-paid actors in the world. South Korea has also sought ways to make its national culture more relevant to international audiencies, trying to streamline the appeal of the Korean language, the Korean alphabet or Hangeul, the Korean food or Hansik and the Korean national garment or Hanbok. ... But Korean officials haven’t stopped here. The Presidential council on Nation Branding also wants to use Koreans abroad as a public diplomacy tool. 'Overseas Koreans are our civic ambassadors who spread Korea’s culture and tradition around the world,' said Euh Yoon-dae, the council’s chairman. 'In this regard, Korean associations overseas play a crucial role in raising Korea’s international status'. For this purpose, the country will develop an online communication network for Koreans living abroad to help them share information and build friendships. The intention is launching a website where all Koreans, no matter where they are living, can share information and communicate with each other. ... The Presidential Council on Nation Branding also wishes to convert the (apparently) rude South Koreans into global citizens." Image from article

Guerrilla Diplomacy Panel Discussion with Daryl Copeland 1:00-2:30pm – Munk Centre for International Studies – Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies – Guerilla Diplomacy: "Mr. Copeland serves as a peer reviewer for Canadian Foreign Policy, the International Journal, and The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. From 1981 to 2009 Mr. Copeland served as a Canadian diplomat with postings in Thailand, Ethiopia, New Zealand and Malaysia."


A Mysterious Assassination Benefits Iran's Propaganda Machine - James Phillips, (blog): Iran’s state-controlled media have launched a full-blown propaganda campaign claiming that the United States and Israel are responsible for the murder of an Iranian scientist. Iran’s Foreign Ministry charged that the bomb plot that killed Dr. Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in Tehran on Tuesday “revealed signs of the involvement of the Zionist regime, the U.S. and their allies in Iran.” By portraying Ali-Mohammadi as a nuclear scientist and former member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was “martyred,” the regime claims that his killers are counter-revolutionary forces backed by foreign powers and implies that his murder is part of a western plot to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. This conveniently sets the stage for an even harsher crackdown on Iran’s opposition movement.

Islamic Republic enjoys high level stability despite Western propaganda: MP - Xinhua:

An Iranian influential lawmaker said Thursday that the nationwide rallies on Dec. 30 indicated the Islamic Republic enjoys high level stability despite Western propaganda, the official IRNA news agency reported. Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, also the Head of Parliament (Majlis) Cultural Commission, said that "Wednesday's demonstration in support of the Islamic values and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei have proved that Iran enjoys a high level of stability despite West's propaganda against the country," the report said. Image from

SC report / 'Israel is losing the media war to Al Jazeera' - Jack Khoury, Ha'aretz - The state has been complicit in a "prolonged national failure" to communicate its positions to its Arab citizens, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said in his report. The shortcomings were particularly obvious during operation Cast Lead, and allowed "the continuous propaganda" by Qatar-based media outlet Al Jazeera to fill the void, said Lindenstrauss.

Hamas Cartoons: War Propaganda For Kids - Rudi Stettner, RantRave

N. Korea Demands Action Over Propaganda Leaflets - The Chosun Ilbo: North Korea on Wednesday called on the South to punish activists who masterminded the floating of propaganda leaflets across the border.

Old Propaganda Hand Becomes N. Korean Culture Minister - The Chosun Ilbo: The North Korean Supreme People's Assembly appointed An Dong-chun, the chairman of the Stalinist country's authors' association, as new culture minister, the official [North] Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday.

An is an old hand at hailing and praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, having written books lauding Kim's achievements and served as deputy leader of a cadre idolizing the leader. Yoo Dong-yeol of the Police Science Institute in South Korea said, "The propaganda department of the North Korean Workers' Party oversees the personality cult, but the Culture Ministry serves as its arms and legs." Yoo said An's appointment seems to herald a major new propaganda push. An Dong-chun image from article

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