Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 20

“Twitter is changing the world, 140 characters at the time. The fundamental change is that things are now happening in real time."

--Hjörtur Smárason, Internet marketing and branding consultant, public speaker, columnist and owner of Scope Communications ehf; image from

“If you'll indulge me a tweet-like post: Today, I said goodbye to my 21-year-old cat Elusive (Lucy).”

--Kim Andrew Elliott


Silva Harotonian's Anniversary Video (English): Courtesy Len Baldyga, with the note: ”Silva Harotonian is an IREX employee who was locked up in the infamous Evin prison in Teheran a year ago on trumped up charges of using 'soft power' to try and overthrow the government. She was on an IREX mission to Iran to set up a program on maternal and child health care.”


The Tweet Heard ‘Round Tehran: A New Channel of Public Diplomacy? - Jessie Daniels, The Moderate Voice: "As we watch with interest the events unfolding in Iran, one of the major stories dominating the headlines is the Twitter effect. … [T]he social networking phenomenon has undermined the Iranian regime’s attempts to isolate its country from the rest of the world and has, perhaps, opened a new chapter of informal public diplomacy efforts. … As opposed to formal public diplomacy measures, such as educational and cultural exchanges, social networking sites like Twitter provide a way to informally connect people. These small-scale efforts could have long-ranging benefits. Right now, the American public is getting a glimpse of the Iranian public and gaining an understanding of what drives them, what they are fighting for, and how they are expressing their dissent.” Image from

Twitter: A New Channel Of Public Diplomacy - Cristy Li Politically Conservative, Pro-Taiwan, Pro-Israel: "Thank God for Twitter,

as Islamic Fascist Iran has 'asked' foreign journalists to leave its country, much of the news and information coming from Iran is via Twitter and other networking sites."

The Iranian Elections and Public Diplomacy 2.0: A Tale of Untapped Potential - Helle C. Dale, WebMemo #2497, Heritage Foundation: "Iran's elections last Friday and their dramatic aftermath provided the Obama Administration a unique opportunity to put into action key elements of the government's public diplomacy strategy. Unfortunately, … the message from the U.S. government has been muted. While Web 2.0 technology has the potential

to play a role similar to that played by fax machines in the Solidarity uprising in Poland in the 1980s and cell phones in Ukraine's Orange Revolution, America has done too little to support Iran's widespread and growing democracy movement. … On the plus side, Radio Free Europe is doing yeoman's work broadcasting 24 hours a day into Iran in Farsi through its service surrogate Radio Farda. … Under severe budget constraints, Voice of America (VOA)--whose mandate is to provide both the news and an American perspective on world events--recently closed down its Radio Farsi service along with a number of other critically important language services … . Needless to say, these cuts did not send positive signals about American engagement in countries like Russia and Iran, where free media are under pressure. Perhaps the greatest testament to Obama's commitment to technology as a vital mechanism of public diplomacy … was the mass distribution of the President's recent speech in Cairo by means of various communication and networking technologies." Image from

Why it works inside Iran and other discussion about Twitter - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy: "All this discussion of Twitter's role in the Iranian demonstrations has given me déjà vu. And now I know what it is: memories of the Chinese crackdown on the demonstrators at Tiananmen Square, twenty years ago, and the many frantic usenet posts at that time. People are using Twitter as a modern usenet, and as an e-mail system. But they are trading public internet media for a single proprietary system that could crash or go out of business."

Twittering; or, Where are the Emily Dickinsons at the State Department? [updated] - John Brown, Huffington Post:

"Foggy Bottom does need a few good Emily Dickinsons. Maybe then its twittering might work." Image from

Mousavi supporters: "We know BBC and VOA are bad, but..." - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Iran election strife brings war of words: between RFE/RL (Radio Farda) publicity and VOA (Persian News Network) publicity - Kim Andrew Elliott discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

US report notes chasing after the opposition: Restrictions to unions' freedom and onslaught on the media were reportedEl Universal, Caracas: Quotes from US State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Advancing Freedom and Democracy Reports, May 2009 Venezuela: “The US Government also uses public diplomacy, targeted foreign assistance, and cooperation with other governments to advance strategic objectives.”

NATO public diplomacy about defence allocated funds in EuropeFinanciarul

Public Diplomacy lesson for the ignorant in Third World nations: U.S. on eliminating ‘Trust Deficit’ - Daya Gamage, Asian Tribune: "In order to successfully engage the international community, McHale outlines a multi-dimensional approach that combines traditional outreach with new technology. Her plan for public diplomacy will operate on two levels.

The first focus being communication, using radio, TV broadcasts, websites and media outreach to help explain US policy and action. The second priority is engagement; she proposes direct 'people to people' exchanges, speakers, and cultural events to build personal relationships. The approach outlined by Ms. McHale is food for thought for those in Third World nations how public diplomacy and strategic communication in a global setting need to be embarked on. And, it gives a hint how Clinton-State Department will operate in relation to its global reach." Image from

U.S. Department of State to Present American Documentary Showcase with Public Screening at National Geographic Society - Bureau Of Public Affairs Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC June 19, 2009 - [State Department]: "The U.S. Department of State will present the American Documentary Showcase, a major touring program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) that introduces foreign audiences to award-winning U.S. documentaries, filmmakers, and film specialists. On Monday, June 22, 2009 at 11:45 a.m., the National Geographic Society (Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.) will host a screening of one of the featured documentaries: America’s Lost Landscape: The Tall Grass Prairie. … ECA produces the American Documentary Showcase in partnership with the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) and in cooperation with the International Documentary Association (IDA). UFVA and IDA have curated a thematic showcase of 29 award-winning contemporary American documentaries… . Founded in 1947, University Film and Video Association has more than 800 professional and institutional members involved in the production and study of film, video, and other media arts. The International Documentary Association supports and promotes documentaries and their filmmakers and has 3000 members in 53 countries."

The US Senate Apologized for Slavery. But We Ain't Gettin' 40 Acres and a Mule! - Yvonne R. Davis, Huffington Post: "A smirk spread across my face when I watched CNN's Wolf Blitzer give the 'Breaking News' this week that the U.S. Senate issued a formal apology to African Americans for Slavery and the era of Jim Crow. … Symbolic gestures like these are most efficacious when public diplomacy is at stake. … Senators, I accept your apology on behalf of America, but I don't need it to be free to achieve the American Dream!”

Highlights from the 140 Character Conference in New York – Hjörtur Smárason, Marketing Safari: "[F]avorites from the conference include … Israel's use of Twitter for public diplomacy (@davidsaranga.”

The use of twitter in Public DiplomacyIsrael Politik: "On June 17th, David Saranga (@DavidSaranga), Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the Consulate General of Israel in New York (@IsraelConsulate), addressed the 140 Character Conference (#140conf) about the use of twitter in Public Diplomacy. Twitter 'allows us to reach people and segments of society that usually we don’t reach,' @DavidSaranga explained at the conference. 'There is a lot of room to include dialogue between people.' To read more about Saranga’s speech at the #140conf, click here. At the conference, @DavidSaranga announced the launch of twt4peace, a dialogue on twitter encouraging the discussion of topics that concern everyone: environment, minority rights, and education." Image from

Hazy future for pollution tax - ferylbob, Wandering China --An 'overseas Chinese' student's journey into discovering the imagination of China: "Being the world's factory also means being a major major source of pollution. This I have been worried about since my trip to Shenzhen in 2002 where skyscrapers were being built to fill the entire horizon. If China were to poise itself to be a world leader, I reckon truly leading the way by keeping our skies clean and blue would win her more genuine supporters (albeit green ones, I'm sure that wouldn't hurt) … . No need for further public diplomacy or any charm offensive needed. Just show and pave the way for true nobility as of the great Chinese thinkers of old. The advantage China has is the ability to introduce sweeping reforms with little in the way, let's hope money-making doesn't cloud that ideal, as it already has in so many aspects."

The British Embassy Jakarta - edmin cdc, Career Development Center: "Public Diplomacy remains as an essential part of the Embassy work and strategic communications are vital in a bid to achieve the objectives. Media is one of the most important tools of communication and it is essential to deliver the embassy’s key messages to its target audience and to a wider public through a mutual engagement and a good working relationship with media partners. Currently the British Embassy is looking for a qualified candidate to fill the position of Media and Communications Assistant at the Media and Communications Department."


How Europe Sees America: Our Survey on Attitudes About U.S. Cultural and Political Influence – Adam Cohen, Wall Street Journal: "Ask people what they think of America's cultural and political influence in the wider world and you're sure to get a mixed response, even from Americans. One thing is clear: Most Europeans think America's political influence in the world was negative over the past five years, but say it has taken a sharply positive turn since Barack Obama's election as U.S. president. When it comes to culture, Europeans' view of America's contributions is more complex. Some aspects are loathed, others are loved. Large numbers of Europeans say they detest American food, but cite films and television shows as the country's best exports."

Obama taps 3 more big donors for ambassadorships - Matthew Lee, Associated Press, Washington Post: President Barack Obama on Friday named three more big fundraisers and contributors to his presidential campaign to ambassadorships in Sweden, Italy and Morocco."

Weekend Opinionator: Watching Iran, Re-Fighting Iraq - Tobin Harshaw, New York Times: There have been any number of aspects of the Iranian election and ensuing demonstrations that have been worth debating: Should President Obama condemn the regime or would “meddling” be counterproductive?

Is Twitter the the magic wand of liberty, is its utility overrated, or is it even working against the dissidents? Is it true that the opposition leader, Mir-Hussein Moussavi, isn’t much different from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or has he morphed from a hack politician into a beacon of freedom? Are we even certain there was fraud? And while pundits and bloggers have done a good job exploring all these issues, on a surprising number of occasions the discussion has turned out to be less about the hopes and fears for Iran’s future and more concerned with re-debating an issue from the past: the invasion of Iraq. Image from

Iran, Revealed: The supreme leader issues a challenge to his internal foes -- and the Obama administration - Editorial, Washington Post: Mr. Obama was ill-advised to muse that "the difference between [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad and [opposition candidate Mir Hossein] Mousavi in terms of their actual positions may not be as great as has been advertised."

City of Whispers - Roger Cohen, New York Times: Tehran is the city of whispers. Its people crave to know that their hushed voices are being heard. Obama, lover of words, is the message man. “Message received” is what he must convey.

Obama betrays Iranians: Protesters need to know the Free World supports them
- Jeffrey T. Kuhner, Washington Times

Katyń: An Interview with Director Andrzej Wajda - Krakow Post: Katyń [the subject of Wayda’s film] remains one of the most inflammatory words in Polish-Russian relations. Sixty-six years ago, in April 1943, Goebbels released what he believed to be his greatest propaganda coup of the war. 4,243 Polish officers had been found in mass graves in the Katyń

forest in German-occupied Russia. Each had been shot in the back of the head with a single bullet, their hands tied behind them. Five lists would later reveal that 18,000 other Polish citizens had suffered similar fates at various locations in the Soviet Union. Stalin denied the crime, blaming the Germans. Only in 1990 did Gorbachev admit Soviet guilt. Image from

1 comment:

D3 Gold said...

Yet again wonderful article. You appear to have a good idea of these types of designs.When I coming into your site,My partner and i thought this kind of . Think about it and keep blogging your website could be more desirable. In your Accomplishment!