Sunday, January 8, 2017

"USIA [USG Cold War Public Diplomacy agency] on Steroids" - a footnote

Main point of this entry: "being on steroids" doesn't mean "communicating."

On the need for a renewed (re-invented?) government agency (well, why not?) to deal with America and its "issues" with the world: "USIA [JB - on USIA, see below] on steroids":

image from "side-effect-of-anabolic-steroids.jpg" 

Distinction between programming (steroids?) and communication (exchange of ideas/experiences)?

Here's a perhaps enlightening historical footnote on the matter:
10. In one of his interesting letters to Public Affairs Officers (PAO) in the field -- documents that are refreshingly free of bureaucratic jargon – Reinhardt [JB - head of USIA/USIA during the Carter administration] -- makes a distinction between “communication” and “programming” in the practice of public diplomacy. 
A: This reference is to Reinhardt’s September 6, 1978, letter to all PAOs outlining his views about the philosophies guiding the new organization. (Document 150) Reinhardt stated that a distinction must be drawn between programming and communication. Continuing, he stated that as neither USIA nor CU “was ever acknowledged as full partners in diplomacy,” the resultant lack of relevance cultivated “institutional self-doubt,” leading to the development of too many programs justifying these entities’ existence. “I do not believe that activities or ‘program’s necessarily sum to communication,” he asserted, adding that USICA [JB -- the designation of USIA during a brief late 70s period] would not insist on quantity: 
"But I, for one, would vastly prefer a few demonstrable accomplishments in the realm of ideas rather than a plethora of merely good activities and programs.” Reinhardt stressed that a program “is an event; communication is a process.” [JB highlight/paragraphing]. 

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