Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 30-31

"rhapsody in bruise"

--The elderly Ira Gershwin, describing himself, his melancholy good humor intact, despite various ailments; image from


Remarks for Edward R. Murrow Program For Journalists - Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State: "I came to the State Department, where I now oversee the Department of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department, which is known as 'R.' ... Edward Roscoe Murrow was the first [sic] director of the United States Information Agency – which in 1999 became part of the Department for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. He was the founding father of public diplomacy – this Edward 'R' Murrow … . Stands to reason we’d call our department 'R.' ... Murrow’s legacy lives on. Freedom of the press and freedom of information are front and center in the frame of our public diplomacy. We scrutinize news media restrictions and intimidations as part of our annual review of human rights. We determine whether foreign governments participate in or condone violations of press freedom. ... We need information to bring light and awareness. We need it to help reduce the darkness and ignorance that breed intolerance and misunderstanding. Civil society needs it. Economies need it. And human beings need it – because an informed citizenry is an enlightened one. The Edward R. Murrow program is one of the ways that we can support the people who safeguard these freedoms. Over the past seven years, it has brought close to 1000 leaders like you to examine the role of journalism in the U.S." Note from your PDPR compiler: Murrow was the fourth director of USIA.

US use of Vietnam website 'under review' - Matthew Lee, Associated Press, "The State Department said Wednesday it is reviewing a U.S. Embassy's use of a wildly popular Vietnamese website laden with suspected pirated music and Hollywood movies to promote American values, including respect for intellectual property rights. Spokesman Mark Toner said the Hanoi embassy's social media account with was created to reach out to Vietnamese youth in a restricted environment but that concerns about digital piracy on the site had prompted it to reconsider.

'Vietnam is a demanding environment for public diplomacy and for reaching appropriate audiences on any given bilateral or multilateral issue,' Toner told reporters. He said the embassy started its 'Zingme' account 'as a way to deliver important messages on a range of bilateral and multilateral issues, including intellectual property rights.' 'That said, I can say that the use of this particular site is now under review,' Toner said. He added that the review was being conducted because 'some of the contents of this website are suspect and run counter to our Internet freedom policy.'" Image from

Social Media’s Influence on Public Diplomacy Practice - Marc Hedman, fourtherecordpd: "The use of social media has exponentially exploded among internet users (themselves experiencing exponential growth). Microblogs, social networking sites, blogs and video sites have all gone through enormous growth over the past half decade. This has changed the communications landscape in many highly populated regions of the world; ones that the United States government wants to participate in. The State Department has been pulled into social media rather than leading with a push. State has recognized, correctly, that there are conversations being had across social media platforms and it further recognizes that it needs to be a part of those conversations. There are certainly big advantages that social media platforms have over older media platforms (including static websites). But the biggest draw to social media is the massive and growing audience – not it’s [sic] many capabilities. Social media has opened platforms for ongoing digital conversations. This alone has reoriented a lot of what State is focused on. This also goes for other public diplomacy practitioners. Instead of focusing on monologue-style broadcasts, or small high-impact events, public diplomacy practitioners have now added a further dimension of broad, wide-reaching digital engagement. It is certainly partially true in this regard that the ‘medium is the message.’ The rules of social media do not allow for the wide success of authoritative, unsolicited advice from a foreign government or for private conversations between government officials. The medium is designed to cater to a wide audience, transparency and plenty of room for dissent (minus any nefarious home government interventions). This reorientation requires massive structural changes for any organization. A large number of communications officers are needed to participate in the many ongoing conversations; public diplomacy officials need to be able to engage in impromptu dialogue with audience publics; messages need to be crafted to reflect the audience in age, gender, socioeconomic status and fluency in current affairs; and more research needs to be done on audience analysis to identify which networks the PD agency wants to curry favor with. These are very different objectives than public diplomacy agencies held even five to ten years ago, and extremely different from those of the Cold War era. The question is whether to invest in more attention, money, personnel and time to the social media arena of public diplomacy or to focus on other priorities such as broadcasting or in-the-flesh dialogue and collaborative events. If social media use trends continue rising (and there’s no reason to think that they won’t – especially with the concurrent trend of rising use of mobile devices) then it makes sense to put into place lot of these structural changes and recognize that objectives have changed and will continue to change toward the direction of massive, digital engagement."

Objectives Matter - Calvin Hayes, Applied Public Diplomacy Group 3 Blog: "The use of social media technologies signals a great transformation in improving the work of public diplomacy, but should not alter its objectives. Social media should only be used as a tool to enhance and amplify core values that already exist. Developing tools and strategies to better communicate with all demographics is not only important, but is increasingly necessary. The State Department must be more relevant now than ever before in order to effectively respond to the demands and challenges posed by the global landscape. The only thing that is constant is change and institutions must evolve or die. Public Diplomacy is an integral component of communicating foreign policy.

Therefore public diplomacy must reflect foreign policy objectives, but the medium should never overshadow the message. Mobile technology and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are a source of power, but should not alter national objectives and priorities. Traditional public diplomacy greatly relied on face- to- face communication and personal exchange. However, a more networked and digital society has afforded diplomats and other state actors the opportunity to communicate with publics via virtual exchange. The key objectives of U.S. public diplomacy is [sic]  to inform, engage and influence foreign audiences. We must make sure that our social media outreach is used strategically so that our information is both accurate and trustworthy." Image from

On the Need for Long-Term Strategic Thinking in the Middle East - Matthew Wallin, "From a public diplomacy standpoint, America must be very careful about giving military and other logistical support to groups that it knows very little about. Emphasis must be placed on building long-term relationships, understanding the people with which we are communicating, and fully understanding their actual needs. ... An understanding

of long-term strategy dictates that arming rebel groups may neither serve the strategic interests of the United States nor the democratic aspirations of the moderate Syrian public. ... Before we make those choices, we need to better understand with whom and what we’re dealing. In Syria, it does not appear that we do. Image from

Public Diplomacy and the Flight to the Academy - John Brown, Notes and Essays: "Public diplomacy is, to some, a Cold-War relic that is an anachronism in the 21st century. ... As an American PD practitioner on behalf of our government during ten years of the Cold War and for a decade after this conflict ended, I basically considered myself like a jazz performer, improvising, as best as I could, in order to promote American national interests. ... One distinguished veteran of the United States Information Agency (USIA) put it best regarding public diplomats in the past century, who so often did 'what they wanted' in the field, uncontrolled by internet-delivered instructions from Washington: 'We got away with murder,' he once told me over lunch. ... Today, American public diplomacy, once implemented by an independent agency (the above-mentioned USIA), is tucked away at the regulations-driven State Department, some would say like a coffin at a funeral home, despite the good intentions of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs ... and her dedicated staff. And PD has increasingly become, like dinosaurs, 'a subject of study, encased in theory,' with a growing number of universities offering courses/degrees in 'pubic diplomacy' (pardon the non-typo) for students hoping, in these hard economic times, to get jobs (while amassing huge debts) by earning a 'PD' degree, often from ivory-tower professors who have themselves never engaged in this very down-to-earth, 'real-life' activity."

Radio Liberty-in-Exile appeals to Obama and Romney for help, former Reagan campaign official adds his support - BBG Watcher, "The Radio Liberty-in-Exile group of fired journalists and those who resigned in protest against actions of the American management of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) has appealed to both President Obama and the Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney to save their jobs and programs in Russia. One of the Radio Liberty-in-Exile leaders, a popular Russian journalist Mikhail Sokholov, said that this should not a partisan issue in the United States. ... In a separate action, a former Reagan for President Campaign official Richard Walicki has sent a letter to Governor Romney with an appeal to help Radio Liberty journalists return to work and to support U.S. international broadcasting.

Dr. Walicki served as a legislative aide in both houses of Congress and worked in the Nationalities Division of the Reagan for President Campaign. ... In another action, more than 2500 former Radio Liberty listeners in Russia have also sent a petition to the Obama administration and Governor Romney to save the jobs of Radio Liberty journalists and their programs." Image from

A Class Act of Diplomacy: Leading with Humility - Cynthia Schneider, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The last place that the Polish Ambassador to the United States Ryszard Schnepf might have been expected to appear in his first two weeks in Washington was the opening performance of Our Class, the searing play

about a dark episode in Poland’s history: the 1941 massacre of Jewish citizens by their Catholic neighbors in Jedwabne. But there he was, delivering a moving talk before he took his seat at Theater J. ... Ambassador Schnepf’s moving appearance at the opening of Our Class contrasts with the conspicuous absence of official representation from China at the opening of the first exhibition of the most famous Chinese artist, Ai Wei Wei, at the Hirshorn Museum. ... China continues to open Confucius Institutes around the world promoting Chinese culture, while preventing the most famous living practitioner of Chinese culture to attend the Washington, D.C. exhibition of his art – the most significant public display of modern Chinese art ever seen in the U.S. Rather than celebrating the exhibition, the official representatives of the Chinese government avoid it. ... Humor, humility, and, of course, honesty, all are qualities that work in public and cultural diplomacy. In attending and speaking at Our Class, Ambassador Schnepf understood that leading with humility can be more effective than the self-promotion that often accompanies public diplomacy. We can all learn from his example." Image from

Secretary-General’s remarks to luncheon at International Academic Conference Promoting Peace and Development through shorts and the role of public diplomacy - "The United Nations is proud to count many star athletes among our goodwill ambassadors. These famous players take our message to tennis matches and football fields. They engage whole new audiences in our work. And they achieve public diplomacy through sports."

“Every election is determined by the people who show up” – Larry J. Sabato, Academic and pollster - Ian Hughess, Global conversations: A blog about the work of the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone: "Once upon a time diplomacy was a country-to-country and government-to-government affair. That is not the case today. President Koroma recognised this when he said that “one-track diplomacy” no longer fits in the modern world. Today, public diplomacy encompasses more than just insiders and it stretches wider than what used to be called foreign policy. As diplomats seek to understand their host countries they have to interact with politicians, officials, academics, journalists, business and civil society.

In short, diplomacy and public relations have come together. In Sierra Leone I talk to government and civil society, Parliament and business, universities and media. I participate in traditional workshops, seminars and briefings but also need to engage in digital diplomacy and hope soon to be using Facebook and Twitter as well as this blog. With this matrix of media and messages, diplomacy now focuses on key themes that shape our world, make is safe and generate prosperity: democracy, the rule of law, equality of opportunity and human rights. While I talk about these things I am not prescriptive: it is for Sierra Leoneans to decide what they think and what they want. My key public diplomacy role is to contribute to the debate and to understand what it says about Sierra Leone." Image from entry

Russia eyes 'soft power' to achieve hard goals in foreign policy "Moscow would use 'soft power' to achieve its diplomatic goals, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. 'Good use of soft power objectively helps us reach priorities in international activities,' Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told a meeting of the Public Chamber's Council for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy.

Among Russian soft power tools, Gatilov listed the extension of cultural, informational and humanitarian presence abroad. He also stressed the importance of more visible Russian participation in the world educational market, connection with fellow citizens permanently living abroad and more tangible migration programs. 'The world should receive more reliable information about Russia,' Gatilov said, adding the government's attempts to increase its soft power would pay off in the near future. The term soft power was coined by Harvard scholar Joseph Nye to describe the spread of a country's influence through non-military means and has become a widely used foreign policy objective worldwide." Image from

Australia's overseas representation - punching below our weight? - "This report [Australia's overseas representation - punching below our weight?] argues that the operations of Australia's diplomatic network are challenged by a lack of funding, the shift of global power towards Asia, the impact of technology, and the rising importance of public diplomacy."

'Azerbaijan should continue its assertive international public diplomacy' - News.Az: "News.Az interviews Huseyin Bagci, Chairman of the Department of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University. ... [Q:] What kind of role may Turkey play in the Karabakh peace process? [A:] Turkey can do much in this conflict except stand by to Azerbaijan in all regional and international organizations from BSEC to OCSE, NATO, UN etc. Turkish public also support Azeri position and as this years remembrance of Khojaly massacre from 1992 have been widely have been organized in Turkey.

In 52 universities and several city demonstrations all over Turkey showed that Turkey is with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan should continue its 'assertive international public diplomacy' as it seems to be very successful so far. In all European as well as other countries Azerbaijan should do it and Turkish Diaspora could help its Azeri brothers in this respect. Turkey's support to Azerbaijan will continue without making any difference under any government now and in future in Turkey." Bagci image from article

Exhibition explores hidden meanings behind the Queen’swardrobe - Press release, "An exhibition exploring how Queen Elizabeth II’s dresses played a pivotal role in British public diplomacy will mark the opening launch of ‘Thinking Futures’, a week-long festival [5 to 9 Nov] showcasing some of the most innovative social sciences research undertaken at the University of Bristol. Curated by Professor Jutta Weldes from the University’s School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, ‘Dressing up and queening it: Queen Elizabeth II, dress, and British public diplomacy’ examines the importance of the Queen’s dresses and their use

in public diplomacy at home and abroad. Highlighting an intriguing aspect of UK domestic and foreign politics that is typically overlooked in the study of politics, the exhibition focuses on the diverse political, cultural and economic meanings through a selection of images of the Queen’s dress on state visits and other important occasions. Dressing up and queening it: Queen Elizabeth II, dress, and British public diplomacy will take place at 12 noon in the Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building. ... A full programme is available on the ‘Thinking Futures’ website." Image from entry, with caption:  Queen Elizabeth II's dresses

Migrants as 'Translators': Mediating External Influences on Post World War II Western Europe, 1945-1973 - H-Soz-u-Kult: "This workshop will focus on the role of migrants as mediating agents and cultural translators in social transformations and exchanges in postwar Western Europe. European immigrants and émigrés to the United States, for example, played a vital role in building networks between European and American institutions after the war. These émigrés frequently acted as experts, analysts, and envoys for American government organizations in the context of postwar reconstruction and Cold War public diplomacy."

USAID and State Department Foreign Service Scholarships - Info Sessions - University of Maryland, Department of Government and Politics: "FOR JUNIORS: PICKERING UNDERGRADUATE FOREIGN AFFAIRS FELLOWSHIP [:] Who Can Apply: US Citizens – Juniors – GPA of 3.2 or higher required – All majors – Students with financial need, women, and members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, are encouraged to apply. Description: The Pickering Undergraduate Foreign Affairs Fellowship program was created by the US State Department to attract outstanding students from all ethnic, racial, and social backgrounds who are interested in pursuing careers as Foreign Service officers.

Foreign Service officers staff U.S. embassies, consulates, and missions worldwide and also serve in Washington, D.C. Their responsibilities include policy analysis, formulation, and execution; management of resources; the provision of services to Americans in need; implementation of U.S. immigration and nationality law; trade promotion and business facilitation; public diplomacy; and representation of U.S. interests. The Pickering Fellowship program seeks to recruit talented juniors majoring in fields relevant to international affairs, political and economic analysis, administration, management, and science policy. Each successful candidate is obligated to a minimum of three years of service in an appointment as a Foreign Service officer. Application Deadline: February 7, 2013" Image from

Texas Conference for Women: Best Ideas and Words of Wisdom - "One week ago today I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Texas Conference for Women. Being in the presence of 5,000 other women was a powerful experience! This conference will definitely become an annual tradition for me.

Ladies, I hope you'll join me next year. Here are the best ideas I took away from the conference: Impactful words from Charlotte Beers, former advertising CEO and Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, author of I'd Rather Be in Charge: 'All things being equal, I'd rather be in charge.' 'Learn how to be an artful communicator. Speak with clarity from the center of yourself.' 'Practice leadership every single day.' 'No one EVER leads without learning how to communicate.'" Image from entry


Why Pro-War Propaganda on Afghanistan Still Works - John Glaser, The propaganda effort on Afghanistan has been going on for more than a decade now, and the fact that 53 percent of Americans think it's going “not too well” or “not at all well” means perhaps the batteries are running out. But it still manages to keep sizable minorities from opposing it and to keep virtually the entire American public passive, docile, and disinterested.

UPDATE 1-Russia's election Magician pans "undemocratic" US vote * Russian officials dislike U.S. "preaching" on democracy * Right activist calls comments "state propaganda" - Gabriela Baczynska and Timothy Heritage, Reuters: Tired of being lectured on democracy, the man known in Russia as "The Magician" for overseeing fraud-marred elections won by Vladimir Putin turned the tables on Wednesday by lambasting the U.S. electoral system. Using language usually reserved for U.S. and European criticism of Russia, Vladimir Churov said American voters will choose a president on Tuesday under an electoral system that is flawed and undemocratic. Churov, a Putin ally, may still have been smarting over U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's suggestion that Russia's parliamentary election last December was "neither free nor fair."

West's claims against Iran propaganda war: Russia - Chairman of the Russian Defense Ministry's Public Council says the West has launched a propaganda war against Iran and that the false allegations over Tehran’s nuclear energy program are part of that war.

Igor Korotchenko, who is also editor-in-chief of the Russian National Defense magazine made the comments in an interview with the Voice of Russia radio channel on Tuesday. Image, evidently of Korotchenko, from article

Seeds of Chinese Liberalization, Made in America: Studying in the U.S., then going home by the hundreds of thousands bearing Western ideas - Fred Zilian, Wall Street Journal: Right here in our cozy, conservative boarding school in New England, we are unconsciously and with no malicious intent sowing the seeds of revolution in China. Chinese students coming to the United States for secondary and undergraduate education are learning—through their formal education in American classrooms and through osmosis at corner coffee shops—liberal political ideas and critical-thinking skills that may in the long run help to destabilize the Chinese political system. These students, who will soon be part of the next generation of adults in China, could prove in the long run a more insidious force to the Chinese Communist Party and the People's Liberation Army than the U.S. Seventh Fleet. See also.

Vietnam jails musicians for propaganda: A Vietnamese court jailed two musicians for spreading anti-state propaganda by writing songs critisizing the communist government - UPI: A Vietnamese court jailed two musicians for spreading anti-state propaganda by writing songs criticizing the communist government. After a 5-hour trial, a court in Ho Chi Minh City sentenced Tran Vu Anh Binh, 37, to six years in jail and Vo Minh Tri, 34, was handed a 4-year prison sentence, the BBC reported. Both were arrested late last year. A particular area that concerned the court was the musicians' criticism of China's claim to island territories in the South China Sea and the Hanoi government's response to the claims, the BBC said.

The latest 'lost' film really is pure Hollywood propaganda - Scott Jordan Harris, American movies are often accused of being “pure Hollywood propaganda”. But, while individual films and filmmakers often have identifiable agendas, the idea that “Hollywood”, as a single entity, has any agenda besides keeping itself in business, and making that business as profitable as possible, is generally misguided.

A recently released relic from the 1920s, however, truly does deserve the label “pure Hollywood propaganda”. The film, apparently called Hollywood Snapshots, is a 13-minute silent that was designed to demonstrate that the Hollywood movie business was not the den of vice and scandal many in the US supposed it to be, but rather a deeply moral and completely benign all-American industry. Image from article

Propaganda Maps: Propaganda Maps Are Designed to Persuade - Juliet Jacobs, All maps are designed with a purpose; whether to aid in navigation, accompany a news article, or display data.

Some maps, however, are designed to be particularly persuasive. Like other forms of propaganda, cartographic propaganda attempts to mobilize viewers for a purpose. Geopolitical maps are the most explicit examples of cartographic propaganda, and throughout history have been utilized to garner support for various causes. Image, cited in article, from


"Virtually the entire meeting portion focused on our counterterrorism cooperation and Mali, and they agreed that we need to now work together to build on our existing strong U.S.-Algerian counterterrorism cooperation to

work together against the problems that are being exported from Mali and to help Bamako and ECOWAS with the AU and the UN support as well deal with the security threats inside of Mali.'

--A senior State Department Official; cited in; image from

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