Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21

"[C]ultural internationalists are asking people to reconsider who and what they are, to cast their identities in doubt . ... From the perspective of those who are being asked to change, then, it is easy to see how the systematic pursuit of deracination could appear to be a form of dehumanization or, at best, as a cultural imperialism in which a new identity is being rammed down the throats of the weak. Far from being trivial and harmless, then, for many people the effects of 'cultural relations' are quite horrible to contemplate."

--Frank Ninkovich, U.S. Information and Cultural Diplomacy (1996), p. 44; image: Manifestation of Culture at Different Levels of Depth from


US agrees to offer 125 scholarships for Pak journalists‎ - Geo TV - Geo Pakistan: "The United States has agreed to offer 125 scholarships to Pakistani journalists during 2011 as part of public diplomacy and capacity building cooperation, Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said after leading discussions with senior American officials on public diplomacy. The scholarships will be extended to journalists both in the private and public sectors, officials said as Pakistan and the United States began their three-day Strategic Dialogue.

Besides, the United States will also offer training to 80 public administrators to help build capacity of Pakistani officers. The training will be offered to information officers from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and media affiliated public organizations, officials said. Kaira was assisted by Pakistan’s ambassador to the United states Husain Haqqani, Federal Information Secretary Mansur Sohail and Information Technology Secretary Naguibullah Malik. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Judith Michale [sic] led the U.S. side." Image from

State Department Briefing by Phillip J. Crowley, October 20, 2010 - "MR. CROWLEY: ... The U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue began today – it will run through Friday – of the 13 working groups that make up the Strategic Dialogue, this morning, we’ve had meetings with the agriculture, communications and public diplomacy, and water working groups. The agriculture group discussed post-flood agricultural recovery in the priority areas of Pakistan. The communications and public diplomacy group discussed ways to cooperate in communications policies and technologies." See also

United States and Turkey Sign Science and Technology Agreement‎ - Office of the Spokesman, US Department of State: "The Governments of the United States and the Republic of Turkey signed a Science and Technology Agreement today at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones
of the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs signed on behalf of the United States while Deputy Under Secretary for Bilateral Affairs and Public Diplomacy Selim Yenel signed on behalf of Turkey." Image from

Challenges to International Broadcasting? - Alex Belida, VOA News Blog/Media Watch: "Later this month, I’ve been asked to speak to university students on the topic: 'The Challenges to US International Broadcasting in the 21st century.' I’m soliciting opinions from key managers here at VOA and its parent agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors. But I’m also interested in hearing the views of our audience – that is, your views. So if you have some thoughts, please send them to the VOA Media Watch by October 27th at our email address:

'We Can't Allow Ourselves to Be Out-Communicated by Our Enemies' - Radio World - "The story of U.S. international broadcasting is getting something of a fresh start, or at least opening a new chapter. Eight new board members sit on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which sets funding and gives direction to those efforts. The board will face a diverse set of challenges, observers say, thanks to geopolitical upheaval as well as the fast-changing influence of social media."

The BBG is the federal entity with oversight responsibilities for broadcasting activities of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Radio/TV Martí and the Middle East Broadcast Networks, which includes Radio Sawa and Alhurrah TV ... . Critics say the BBG wastes taxpayer money. For instance, they say, most Radio and TV Martí broadcasts to Cuba simply are jammed. Others say its programs are nothing more than a propaganda arm of the U.S. government. Supporters believe U.S. international broadcasting is critical to maintaining independent reporting of worldwide events to foreign countries. And a primary reason for the existence of BBG is to put U.S. policies in front of people in countries that do not have independent media, according to the board." Image from article

Radio Taiwan International: The Voice Of Taiwan - Paul Rockower, Newswire, CPD Blog, USC: "Taiwan’s international broadcasting efforts through Radio Taiwan International represent a vital medium for Taiwan to communicate its culture and values to diverse audience through its multiple language services. RTI helps convey different aspects of life in Taiwan and broadens the perceptions of Taiwanese society through its multifaceted programming that helps raise the nation’s profile internationally. Through the RTI service, Taiwan can connect both regionally and globally and thus create a better understanding of the Taiwanese cultural and political landscape."

Gala Show Marks Birthday of National Acrobatic Troupe - "As an ambassador of public diplomacy, the China National Acrobatic Troupe has visited more than 110 countries and regions in the past decades."

Image from article: The acrobatic show "A Family Letter" was staged at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, to mark the 60th anniversary of the China National Acrobatic Troupe.

The new life - Rob Eshman, The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A.: "I had been invited to speak at a three-day conference on Polish-Jewish relations, an initiative in public diplomacy sponsored by the country’s Foreign Ministry."

National security expert to address threat of cyberwar - Angela Moscaritolo, SC MagazineUS: "The cyberwar battlefield exists in every part of society in which people live and work, according to a national security expert scheduled to present at next month's third annual SC World Congress. The battlefield could involve the control systems that provide electricity, energy, telecommunications, money and transportation, Daniel Kuehl, professor of information operations at the Information Resources Management College.

Kuehl's areas of expertise include national security in the information age, the law of war, the strategic use of the internet, public diplomacy, strategic communication, information warfare and operations." Image from


Dr. Greg and Afghanistan - Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times: A visitor to Afghanistan who ventures outside the American security bubble sees pretty quickly that President Obama’s decision to triple the number of troops in Afghanistan has resulted, with some exceptions, mostly in more dead Americans and Afghans alike. So what can we do instead? Some useful guidance comes from the man whom Afghans refer to as “Dr. Greg” — Greg Mortenson, an American who runs around in Afghan clothing building schools, as chronicled in the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea.” The conventional wisdom is that education and development are impossible in insecure parts of Afghanistan that the Taliban control. That view is wrong. An organization set up by Mr. Mortenson and a number of others are showing that it is quite possible to run schools in Taliban-controlled areas.

Head Coverings In The News - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: Obama may not visit some place in India because in order to do so, he might have to slap a scarf on his head. This is a big deal (Google News Search for "Obama Head Covering" brings back 134 news articles)!

This will require meetings and negotiations and delicate diplomatic maneuvering and whatnot and at first blush seems so silly but, like I said, put the wrong thing on your head and you're in for a world of hurt. Image from

The "Ground Zero Mosque" and the War on Terror - Jesse Larner, Huffington Post: It is ironic that the anti-mosque protesters have greatly advanced the cause of radical Islam. They have done Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri an enormous favor. You can bet that their demonstrations and hateful statements are running 24/7 on al-Qaeda web TV. The protesters have undoubtedly brought young men and women who might otherwise have reserved judgment about America into the ranks of Islamic fanatics. It is more than plausible that the protesters' actions will eventually result in the deaths of Americans. Whereas the worst fear of the worldwide organizers of violent Islam, those psychopaths hiding out in Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Kashmir, many other places around the world -- is the image of a New York Islamic center in which people of all faiths work and play and pray together with mutual respect. That is what destroys their propaganda.

From Uncle Joe to St. Stalin - Alina Lobzina, Moscow News: An unlikely icon showing Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin has been discovered in a central Moscow church. The small church of St. Nikolai on Starovagankovsky Per. hit the headlines after journalists took a closer look at the icon of St. Matrona of Moscow.It’s not the first case when the cult of Stalin has sneaked into church.

A few years earlier father Yevstaphi (Zhakov) from Leningrad region suffered for his faith in the father of the people, as Soviet propaganda called Stalin. He was defrocked for displaying an icon showing the mythical meeting of saint and tyrant, but made it the centre piece of a Stalinist shrine in his own home. His flat now attracts visitors from Russia and abroad. Image: © A Stalin icon designed by an online campaign to canonise the dictator


"President Obama is traveling to India next month and the White House has canceled a planned visit to a Sikh temple...because in order to enter the temple, you have to cover your head. And the White House is worried that photographs of Obama wearing a turban would fuel rumors that he's a Muslim, even though I don't think Muslims wear turbans. But we're dumb."

--Jimmy Kimmel, Bulletin News, LLC.

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