Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23

"Chiariamo: la public diplomacy consiste principalmente questo, e gli effetti sono stati positivi, dato il numero di domande che i due hanno ricevuto durante l'ora di intervento. E poi, diciamocelo, sempre meglio che il cane Trozzi, o fare un tweet con dentro un bel WOW!!!"

--Dario Sabbioni, Dialogo a due Unioni,; image from


International Broadcasting in the Social Media Era - A CPD Conference - "Friday, March 1, 2013 8:45 AM - 1:00 PM Venue: USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism (Room 204) [.] International broadcasting has long been at the heart of major nations’ public diplomacy strategies as one of the most effective ways to reach international publics. Satellite technology has enabled regional and global broadcasters to transcend traditional borders and wield significant political influence. But what is the role of broadcasting in the era of social media? Will these media venues compete or coexist? For those who design and implement public diplomacy programs, answers to such questions are crucial.

On March 1, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy will be hosting a major conference on international broadcasting in the social media era. Leading practitioners, policy-makers, social media and international broadcasting experts will come together for an open and engaging event at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism." Image from entry. See also, with comment by

U.S. International Broadcasting observer Kim Andrew Elliott: "I will not be attending as I'm not feeling very, well, social."  Image from


Religion and Public Diplomacy (Global Public Diplomacy) - Authors [sic]: Philip Seib


The Decline and Fall of USIA [Nicholas Cull, The Decline and Fall of the United States Information Agency: American Public Diplomacy, 1989-2001, Palgrave MacMillan, 2012] - Review, Mark Dillen, American Diplomacy: "Ultimately, USIA’s demise was not quite the lengthy 'decline and fall' suggested by Cull’s title, with barbarians attacking and pillaging (although many an embassy admin officer quickly grabbed the goods — silverware, crystal and china — that PAOs [Public Affairs officers, in charge of USIA programs at their overseas posts] had been supplied with by USIA for their representational work). The end of USIA resembled more a cabal followed by bureaucratic assassination.

Despite the laws of inertia and resistance in Washington (how many Federal agencies have actually been eliminated?), USIA was cleanly and definitively ended, thrown overboard by politicos and bureaucrats more concerned about their own agendas than how public diplomacy ought best be conducted." Image from entry


What a Defense Secretary Does: Pace Hagel, it’s a policy-making job - Dan Senor, "Much of a defense secretary’s work is at his own discretion. He is responsible for military budgets and procurement, personnel promotions, public diplomacy, the Pentagon’s relations with defense ministries and militaries around the world, tactical military movements, and most force deployments. When a commander asks for an additional unit or capability—as with Les Aspin in Somalia, with Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even with Leon Panetta in Benghazi—the request lands

on the secretary’s desk. And more often than not, it is the secretary, not the president, who makes the call. Such heavy responsibility is in the nature of the job. ... If Chuck Hagel becomes secretary of defense, he will be captain of the Pentagon ship, choosing its crew and charting its course. The decisions he makes on the job will have tremendous consequences for the wars America fights today, and perhaps an even greater impact on the wars which America might fight in the future. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, like every secretary of defense before him, will be a consequential policymaker, for better or for worse." Hagel image from article

Diplomacy Via Social Media [video] -  "The phrase 'U.S. diplomacy' may render up images of two diplomats meeting quietly behind closed doors, but in the 21st Century, one of those diplomats could bring thousands of Twitter followers along for the meeting and use them to gauge the popularity of any ideas that might come from the meeting. The U.S. Department of State has more than 15 million followers across its hundreds of social media channels, which exist in dozens of languages and include accounts for the department as a whole, bureaus in D.C., and embassies overseas. While the State Department has used social media

for several years and built up a large following, only now is it reaching sophisticated levels of expertise in analyzing data to determine the best ways to communicate with those followers. As part of D.C.’s Social Media Week, leaders from bureaus within the State Department’s public affairs and public diplomacy umbrella gathered on Thursday to discuss their use of social media. The conversation was moderated by Sarah Morris, policy counsel for New America’s Open Technology Institute, which hosted the event." Image from entry, with caption: Richard Buangan, Hilary Brandt, and Suzanne Philion discuss social media at the event, "@StateDept: Leveraging Digital for #PublicDiplomacy"

Outstanding RFE/RL video journalism showcased at BBG meeting - BBGWatcher, "During today’s open meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty  (RFE/RL) acting president  Kevin Klose showcased a video journalism report from Afghanistan that impressed BBG members, sources told BBG Watch. Kevin Klose, who recently assumed his position as acting president, promised to return Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to serious fact-based journalism after a period of embarrassing journalistic experiments under the previous RFE/RL management team. Kevin Klose, a former editor, and national and foreign correspondent with The Washington Post, is an award-winning author and worldwide broadcasting executive. He served most recently as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, was president of National Public Radio (NPR) from 1998 to 2008, and RFE/RL president from 1994 to 1997. The video report titled, 'At Afghan Brickworks, Family Trapped In Cycle Of Debt,' tells the story of Zabit Khan and his nine children who are bonded laborers working to pay off family debts at a brick factory in Afghanistan. The Khans are among thousands of Afghans stuck in an unending cycle of debt and poverty with little hope of escape. The report was produced by Sabawoon of RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan and written by Frud Bezhan."

A Day Without News?  - Jean-Paul Mathoz, "On the first anniversary of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik's death in Homs a new campaign A Day Without News? has been launched 'to draw sharper attention to the growing numbers of journalists who have been killed and injured in armed conflict, in some cases as a result of

direct targeting by the belligerents; to develop a public diplomacy, institutional and legal agenda to combat this more effectively; and to investigate and collect evidence in support of prosecutable cases in this area'." Image from

Minister of Culture promotes cultural diplomacy in France - Tsai Hsiao-ying and Jamie Wang, "Taiwan's Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai on Friday wrapped up her four-day visit in France, saying that the visit transcended diplomatic barriers and that she gained more confidence in the Taiwanese culture as a result. Before departing for London, Lung said that 'the more sophisticated a country is, like France, the easier it is to overcome the restrictions of diplomacy and to have a dialogue in the language of culture.' She said that several cooperation projects with France's cultural circles gave her more confidence in the Taiwanese culture and that 'Taiwan should never underestimate itself.'

Taiwan has an advantage in terms of Chinese-language culture and that the country should use that advantage to increase cross-country exchanges, she said. After the four-day visit, Lung said the Ministry of Culture (MOC) might draw ideas from how the National Library of France preserves and collects print arts, such as photographs. In addition, Lung said that two recent Taiwanese college graduates will join an internship program at L'Association Relative a la Television Europeenne -- a French-German TV network that promotes culture and arts -- and that Le Centre National de la Cinematographie has also agreed to receive Taiwanese documentary filmmakers as interns. Jack Lang, director of L'Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) in Paris, said many bands and music festivals in France would like to include Taiwanese pop music in their programs, and Lung said the MOC will work harder to reinforce exchanges with the Arab world through IMA. Meanwhile, Lung said the existence of a cultural ministry made a difference, adding that both official and unofficial organizations in France received her with openness during her visit in her capacity as Taiwan's cultural minister. The MOC was upgraded from the Council of Cultural Affairs as part of the Cabinet reorganization early last year." Lung Ying-tai image from article

Palestinian students "surrounded by guns" at Israeli universities - Sawsan Khalife, The Electronic Intifada: “'[S]tudent soldiers' are the pride of Israeli academia. Along with students who join 'public diplomacy' programs — known as hasbara programs in Hebrew — they are groomed to be ambassadors for Israel. They will be the ones who seek to justify and excuse Israel’s numerous violations of human rights; the university is there to teach them how to diplomatically tiptoe around war crimes and how to find loopholes in international law."

Water is the Theme of New Israeli Postage Stamp - "Israel has issued a new postage stamp titled 'Water - The Source of Life.' Israel is situated in a water-scarce area, on the edge of a 'desert belt.' Desalinated water currently constitutes some 40% of all water provided to cities and homes in Israel. Within a few years, more than 50% of all water utilized in Israel will be manufactured water.

The stamp design is based on the 64th Israel Independence Day poster issued by the Center for Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Information and Diaspora, in cooperation with the Israeli Government Advertising Agency." Image from entry

Assault on Sri Lanka from Three Fronts: Tamil Diaspora - UN - the West - Daya Gamage, "The operatives among the Tamil Diaspora vanguard organizations' goal was what Vellupillai Prabhaharan failed to achieve: a separate, independent and sovereign state of Eelam. This campaign's initial public diplomacy and strategic communication endeavors greatly influenced the mind-set of the West or, in another way, consolidated the elements of the mid-set that this columnist saw in close quarters that were steadily taking shape since the eighties. What Sri Lanka failed to understand is how to devise a strategy to break this cohabitation."

Foreign visits and the headlines: As recent European visits showed, public diplomacy is a struggle during bilateral summits - Kishan S Rana, "Mr Cameron came for three full days, visiting Mumbai, Delhi and Amritsar. He flattered Indians with the announcement that the 100+ businessmen, educationists and public figures he brought was the largest such accompanying delegation to leave Britain. ... Mr Cameron grasped the public diplomacy nettle with his visit to Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar."

Philippine Embassy in Lisbon Pays Tribute to Filipino Seafarers in NCCA´s Photo Contest - "The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon reported that pictures of Filipino seafarers taken by Third Secretary and Vice Consul Rogelio Villanueva, Jr. won First Place in the recently concluded NCCA Photo Essay Contest for Overseas Filipinos in celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos last December 2012. ... Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe J. Lhuillier lauded the achievement of Mr. Villanueva

and considers it as recognition of the DFA´s contribution in raising awareness of the Filipino Diaspora through public diplomacy. Image from entry, with caption: Philippine Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal Photo Contest: "PINOY INIHAW"

Japan Prime Minister [Shinzo Abe] Speaks Of Growing Economy At First Summit With President Obama - "This is Abe's second time around as Japanese Prime Minister. Prime Minister Abe returned after a bout of illness.

After six years, no one imagined he would come back, according to Yutaka Yokoi, Press Secretary, Director-General for Press and Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan." Image from article

Irie Gastrodiplomacy cont. - Paul Rockower, Levantine: "OMJah, I just had the most amazing Jamaican breadpudding. Gooey breadpudding, with hints of cinnamon, cloves and rum. Stuffed with raisins, dates and candied treats. YUM. Jamaica, if you need a gastrodiplo guru to run a campaign, I am your man."

The new diplomacy - marwethamer, Diplomacy Old and New 2012a: A group blog by students at London Metropolitan University: "The public diplomacy is create [sic] by people in different level , people try to create a good relationship with the others."

Program Coordinator- Public Diplomacy - "U.S. Mission, Uganda VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT POSITION: Program Coordinator - Public Diplomacy; FP-6; FSN-8 OPENING ... BASIC FUNCTION OF POSITION [:] The incumbent provides support for Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) events, in the Chancery, at official locations, and at public and private venues throughout Uganda. Incumbent will coordinate closely with all Public Diplomacy Section (PDS) officers, Locally Engaged staff, and other Mission sections and agencies, and is supervised by the Public Affairs Officer (PAO). ... ADDITIONAL SELECTION CRITERIA 1. Management will consider

nepotism/conflict of interest, budget, and visa status in determining successful candidacy."


Kerry's divergence from Obama on foreign crises raises questions: The new secretary of State is eager for a diplomatic success in the Middle East, but Obama's main goal overseas is ending America's wars - Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times: Kerry is fired by a desire for a diplomatic success in the Middle East that could secure his legacy.


Obama is chiefly focused on winding down America's wars overseas and preventing other conflicts from spreading. Some of Kerry's advisors envision him at some point beginning frantic Henry Kissinger-style shuttle diplomacy between Middle East capitals to nail down a deal. Kerry is more inclined to sweet talk than browbeating in his negotiations. And the secretary, who was among the wealthiest members of Congress and has Champagne tastes, sometimes schmoozes far from the conference room. Image from

The premises and purposes of American exceptionalism: That the US is objectively "the greatest country ever to exist" is as irrational as it is destructive, yet it maintains the status of orthodoxy - Glenn Greenwald, "I'm always astounded at some people's certainty of their own objective superiority ("the [U.S. the]  greatest country in world history"). It's certainly true that Americans are justifiably proud of certain nationalistic attributes: class mobility, ethnic diversity, religious freedom, large immigrant populations, life-improving technological discoveries, a commitment to some basic liberties such as free speech and press, historical progress in correcting some of its worst crimes. But all of those virtues are found in equal if not, at this point, greater quantity in numerous other countries. Add to that mix America's shameful attributes - its historic crimes of land theft, genocide, slavery and racism, its sprawling penal state, the company it keeps on certain human rights abuses, the aggressive attack on Iraq, the creation of a worldwide torture regime, its pervasive support for the world's worst tyrannies - and it becomes not just untenable, but laughable, to lavish it with that title."

Imperial Propaganda: Our Highest Achievement - Joe Giambrone, Why are Argo and Zero Dark Thirty receiving all these awards? Are the awarding bodies so full of hyper-patriots who believe pro-American films can deceive and demonize with impunity, that they want to send an unequivocal message of support for these practices? Is hyper-nationalist propaganda in vogue now? With the ascendancy of Barack Obama, there is no longer a moral anti-war voice of any significant size in America. Obama, the smooth talker, has soothed away morality, ethics, law and rights.

The empire is beyond reproach because Obama runs it. So the liberal center/left says nothing. Nothing but empty blather and ignorant praise of the Democrats. Murder is being codified in secret as we speak. Bush's wars are being publicly scaled down, only to ramp up new covert wars of conquest across Africa. Nothing substantial has changed since George W., only the style. Image from

Torture, Lies and Hollywood - Ali H. Soufan, "I watched 'Zero Dark Thirty' not as a former F.B.I. special agent who spent a decade chasing, interrogating and prosecuting top members of Al Qaeda but as someone who enjoys Hollywood movies. As a movie, I enjoyed it. As history, it’s bunk.Portraying torture as effective risks misleading the next generation of Americans that one of our government’s greatest successes came about because of the efficacy of torture. It’s a disservice both to our history and our national security. While filmmakers have the right to say what they want, government officials don’t have the right to covertly provide filmmakers with false information to promote their own interests. Providing selective information about a classified program means there is no free market of ideas, but a controlled market subject to manipulation. That’s an abuse of power." See also


"It really allows you to be creative and literally extend the personality you had while alive in death."

--James Norris, founder of DeadSocial; Heather Kelly, cited in "How to post to Facebook, Twitter after you die," CNN; via JJ on Facebook; image from article, with caption: A few new Web tools offer to let people post on Facebook or, if they like, even tweet from the grave


(a) First lady dances up a storm on 'Fallon' [Video] -; image from

(b) Nine Oscar speeches that changed the world [includes Videos] -

(c) The U.S. ranks 11th in minimum wage - According to the OECD, the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is enough to make the United States rank eleventh out of the twenty-four member nations of the OECD ranked in that category.

Australia ranks first, with a minimum wage equivalent to $15.75 USD. Image from entry


Frankenstein and Hitler stumping for votes in Indian election - Adolf Hitler is running for election in India. So is Frankenstein. The tiny northeast Indian state of Meghalaya has a special fascination for interesting and sometimes controversial names, and the ballot for state elections Saturday is proof. Among the 345 contestants running for the state assembly are Frankenstein MominBillykid SangmaField Marshal Mawphniang and Romeo Rani. Some, like Kenedy Marak, Kennedy Cornelius Khyriem and Jhim Carter Sangma, are clearly hoping for the electoral success of their namesake American presidents.


In Italy, Illusion Is the Only Reality - Tim Parks, New York Times: Around Naples, dentists declare lower incomes than policemen.


--Moscovites look at the Jackon Pollock painting at the American art exibit, August 1969. Via DP on Facebook © Life/Carl Mydans

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