Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 6

"TV Everywhere"

--a new strategy, implemented for the past 15 months by Time Warner (along with a growing number of content and distribution companies) that operates on a simple but powerful premise: If you have access to television in your home—whether through rabbit ears or a paid cable, satellite or telco subscription—you should be able to view all the channels you receive on demand on whatever broadband device you wish; image from


Secretary Clinton Congratulates Winners of First Apps4Africa Competition


Reading Woodward in Karachi: Is this the nail in the coffin of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship? - Mosharraf Zaidi, Foreign Policy:

"The things that have the most value for the Obama administration -- using covert actions and drone strikes to take out known al Qaeda members -- provoke the most disquiet in Pakistan. Pakistanis will not come away from reading Obama's Wars with any confidence in the warm sincerity of Hillary Clinton's multiple visits to the country to build bridges and spur the U.S. public diplomacy machine. Instead, the suspicious instincts of Pakistanis will be vindicated. The irony could not be richer. No U.S. administration has ever invested so much effort and time in trying to understand and accommodate Pakistan's complex realities into its own calculus. Woodward's book confirms what this outpouring of U.S. interest and attention is all about: It is about fear." Image from

New BBG chief wants more money to combat “enemies” such as China and Russia - Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy: "The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) has a new chairman in Walter Isaacson, and the former CNN and Time magazine chief is calling for even more money for the BBG to combat the public diplomacy efforts of America's 'enemies,' which he identifies as Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and China. The BBG, which oversees a $700 million annual budget to run such organizations as the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Free Asia, funds breakthrough reporting in some of the most dangerous parts of the world, but at the same time is facing increased competition from other governments' forays into international broadcasting. Isaacson said that other countries are stepping up their international broadcasting efforts and that the Congress must allow the U.S. government to do the same. ... Pressed by The Cable to explain exactly what that means, especially in light of reports that the Obama administration sought to influence BBG reporting after the disputed Iranian presidential elections, Isaacson promised he wouldn't hesitate to air views that contradict American foreign policy on BBG stations. He said that the goals of American foreign policy and the objectives of credible journalism overlap about 90 percent of the time -- as for the other 10 percent, a choice must be made."

RFE/RL names chief editor of its Washington bureau [journalist Christian Caryl] - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "No doubt Mr. Caryl and the RFE/RL Washington bureau will do a great job. But isn't reporting from the USA, especially from Washington, VOA's nominal role in the panoply of BBG entities? At a time when the administration is trying to find savings to reduce the federal deficit, duplication

in U.S. international broadcasting is running amok." Image from

Alhurra and its persistent detractors - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Firewall at work: President Obama was wooing, while RFE/RL was "pushing," Azerbaijan - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Global Intelligence Report, 26 Sept 2010: 'Pres. Obama and [Azerbaijan] Pres. [Ilham] Aliyev met in New York during the United Nations General Assembly session on September 24, 2010, and it was clear that Pres. Obama was keen to repair the bilateral relationship.

Some 25 percent of the non-lethal logistical support for the US-led Coalition in Afghanistan, including fuel and food, is transported via Azerbaijan. ... Even so, while Pres. Obama was wooing Pres. Aliyev in New York, the US Government-controlled broadcaster, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was still pushing an anti-Aliyev line.' [Elliott Comment:] -- Rather than 'pushing an anti-Aliyev line,' RFE/RL is more likely reporting news that the Aliyev would prefer not be disseminated." Aliyev image from

Trial of VOA reporter in Uzbekistan postponed after his lawyer withdraws - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

In Soviet Belorussia, pianist listened to VOA jazz and "changed his musical direction" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Sundance Institute Presents Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue Institute joins with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute for Museum and Library Services in a Public/Private Cultural Exchange Initiative - "Sundance Institute, the global nonprofit arts organization, today announced it has been selected to represent the private sector in a unique program entitled Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue.

This program continues the exceptional public/private cultural exchange effort by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) in cooperation with its federal cultural partners, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to foster cross-cultural understanding through cinematic storytelling. ... Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue chooses a carefully curated group of 10 contemporary independent films, five American and five international, and invites the filmmakers to present their works in selected locations in both the United States and at American embassies and other venues abroad. Master classes, discussion panels, Q&As and other engagements between filmmaker and audience are programmed around the screenings in all locations, cultivating engaged dialogue, fostering appreciation of other viewpoints and developing new audiences for independent film. The project will launch in New York in December of 2010 and conclude in September, 2011, with all of the films screening next spring at a gala showcase in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution on the Mall in Washington, D.C." Via. Image from

GOVT Week: Ted Kniker on Performance Measurement and Evaluation - Susan Kistler, "My name is Ted Kniker and I am an executive consultant with the Federal Consulting Group, an organization comprised of federal employees who provide management consulting, executive coaching and customer satisfaction measurement to other federal agencies. Prior to this, I was the Director for Evaluation and Performance Measurement for Public Diplomacy and for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. One of the questions our customers frequently ask is 'how should an organization integrate its evaluation and performance measurement?'

This question has become especially relevant to federal agencies as they try to balance improving transparency and performance with mandated reporting requirements." Image from

Public Diplomacy: Walter Lippmann and the Committee on Public Information (1917-1919) - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "Was Walter Lippmann,

that key figure in the study/shaping of US public opinion in the 20th century, a member of the Committee on Public Information (CIP, 1917-1919), arguably the first USG 'propaganda' agency in the US? Some esteemed scholarly studies state that he was. However, other sources -- which I consider more reliable on the issue -- do not. The journalist George Creel -- the head of the CIP -- was described by his boss, Woodrow Wilson, as 'a man with a passion for adjectives.'

Lippmann was analytical, philosophical. This reflects the many-century-old debate between the philosopher (Lippmann) and the rhetorican (Creel). The Lippmann/Creel divide -- thought vs. hype, to put it crudely -- is essential to understanding the nature and inner tension of USG overseas propaganda in the 20th century. And it has important implications for US public diplomacy today. Hence I am working on an article on confirming that, in fact, Lippmann was not a member of the CPI, and indeed was critical of it." Lippmann image (above) from; Creel image (below) from

Can Wen bridge the China-EU divide - Jonathan Holslag, CNN: "Haunted by a protectionist trade bill from the U.S. Congress and escalating tensions with Japan, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao set course to Europe, eager to compensate for diplomatic wrangling on the Eastern front by making progress in the West. But there is not much reason for optimism. ... The lack of progress in the EU-China relations shows once again how Beijing faces tough strategic dilemmas. Of course, Beijing can continue to try to deflect distrust by beckoning with its burgeoning market and stepping up its public diplomacy. But if China really wants to avoid diplomatic isolation, it will have to go much further in meeting the demands for economic reform and, above all, to avoid the trap of nationalism and arrogance, however mistreated it feels."

The Netanyahu Government at its halfway point - Jonathan Spyer, "The key policy challenge put forth by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the threat of the Iranian nuclear program. ... The very nature of the policy, however, meant that other than public diplomacy, possible sabotage, the implicit threat of possible Israeli military action, behind the scenes lobbying and presumably an ongoing attempt to monitor the development of the Iranian nuclear project, Israel's role was basically that of a bystander. ... Unless military action is approaching, therefore, it appears that in its own terms, Netanyahu's tireless public diplomacy

against a nuclear Iran has achieved very little. Iran appears to be moving at speed toward a nuclear capability, its uranium enrichment and missile programs proceeding apace." Netanyahu image from

“Online Public Diplomacy Platform of Israel” Shifts Focus to Iran - Eli Clifton, "GIYUS, which is endorsed on a number of of Israeli embassy websites as 'the online public diplomacy platform of Israel,' has been sending out increasing numbers of Iran related alerts and calls for action."

Liberal Public Diplomacy in a Realist World? - Robin, Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "In looking at recent UK PD it seems to me that most of the resources are devoted to projects that aim at resolving conflict through social transformation rather than using PD to support/manage/influence interstate relations.

In a world where the relative position of the West is declining relative to rising powers that are more strongly committed to norms of sovereignty what are the implications for PD? This is a bit obscure." Image from


Rise of the Online Autocrats: It turns out that the enemies of free expression are adept at the Internet, too - Evgeny Morozov, Wall Street Journal: While authoritarian governments continue to censor the Web and crack down on bloggers they are also increasingly using the Internet for their own propaganda. Officials are pouring resources into social media and hitting the blogs to disseminate pro-government views and undermine their critics. And they're succeeding: The decentralized nature of online conversations often makes it easier to manipulate public opinion,

both domestically and globally. Regimes that once relied on centralized systems of media control can now deliver ideological messages more subtly, with the help of little-known intermediaries like anonymous commenters on websites. Can supporters of democracy in the West stop or at least thwart the growth of authoritarian influence on the Internet? The best that Western governments can do is to educate—in person or remotely—those running important political websites about how to build communities, keep their content visible despite all the spin and avoid being overwhelmed by pro-government intruders. See also. Image from

The American Propaganda Machine
- Eric L. Wattree, The American propaganda machine tells us that Muslims are a hostile people who hate American freedom. The most cursory examination of that claim reveals that the evidence the claim is based upon is highly flawed, yet the American people have been persuaded that it’s true.

South Korea Prepares New Propaganda War - Mark McDonald, New York Times: Less than a week after the appointment of a new leadership hierarchy in North Korea, the South Korean defense minister said his military would launch a new and expanded propaganda war if provoked by the North, while a presidential aide said publicly that the North’s nuclear program was moving ahead “at a very fast pace.” After six years of quiet along the border, South Korea has reinstalled 11 sets of psychological warfare loudspeakers, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said Tuesday in Seoul.

He said the ministry had switched its transmitters to the easier-to-receive AM band and was ready to send thousands of AM radios and propaganda leaflets across the border using helium balloons. An ongoing balloon-and-leaflet campaign by South Korean civilians has angered the North Korean regime, which suggests its effectiveness. The leaflets ridicule the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, and call for people in the North to rise up against the regime. Image from

Condibook Comes Out Next Week, Has Different Cover - Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog: "My prediction: the reviews will be charitable but lukewarm, and it will sell shitloads of copies, about 20% of which will be read all the way through."

See also John Brown, "'10 Percent Intellectual': The Mind of Condoleezza Rice," Image from above article

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