Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4

"The good news: They've found Lenin's mother.
The bad news: She's pregnant again."

--Old Soviet joke; image: Maria Alexandrovna Ulyanova (1835 - 1916), Lenin's mother, from


Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary-Designate, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: Opening Statement


USC Center on Public Diplomacy Launches New Periodical: PDiN Monthly: This January, PDiN Monthly, an electronic review, joined a growing list of CPD publications. PDiN Monthly highlights significant public diplomacy news aggregated by the Center's PDiN Research team over the past month as well as original analysis from CPD staff, fellows, visiting scholars and occasional guest contributors on current PD efforts in the news.


US under secretary due Sat - The Daily Star: "Judith A McHale, US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, arrives here on Saturday on a three-day visit to Bangladesh. The portfolio of McHale, the highest-ranking Obama administration official [sic],

includes all State Department-funded educational and cultural exchanges programs, including the Fulbright program. During her visit, she will meet with Bangladesh high government officials, academics, and business and civil society leaders, according to an announcement of the US embassy in Dhaka on Thursday." Image: (2003): Judith McHale, President and COO, Discovery Communications, Inc with her brother Stephen McHale, Federal Employee of the Year Award winner

We are going to increase outreach in India - Liz Mathew, Anil Padmanabhan, Livemint - "US President Barack Obama’s statement that he would withdraw tax breaks to American firms that move jobs abroad came out of the 'natural tendency' to defend 'one’s economic interest' in difficult times, says Judith A. McHale, under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. McHale, who is on a week-long visit to India, also said in an interview that the US was exploring new ways to enhance people-to-people contact between the two countries."

LSR Principal gets pat from US – fachcha: "Delhi University’s prestigious Lady Sri Ram College and its Principal Meenakshi Gopinath received a pat from US. During her visit to India US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale said 'Her (Meenakshi’s) efforts have resulted in the empowerment of a new generation of women with skills and expertise for peace activism'. Giving credit to Fullbright [sic] Scholarship for the achievements of Meenakshi Gopinath

the US top official said that she went Georgetown University as a Fullbrighter and became the Principal of LSR College later on. It is notable that over 8000 scholarships have been given in the last 60 years under the Fullbright scheme. During the 60th anniversary of USIEF on Tuesday McHale also announced that U.S. India Education Foundation Board is looking at new and expanded areas of focus that would strengthen the partnership between our two countries." Meenakshi Gopinath image from

Attempts to control regional media will fuel radicalisation - Muhammad Ayish, National: "A recent bill passed by the US Congress imposes sanctions on Middle East satellite companies that are broadcasting channels deemed hostile to the United States. Last week Arab information ministers deliberated about setting up a joint media commission. Neither development has offered any comfort to the region’s non-state media. ... In many ways, the congressional bill calling for sanctions against television networks 'seen as fuelling anti-American hatred' seems out of sync with the US president Barack Obama’s previous gestures of openness to the Arab and Muslim worlds. Should the bill be translated into law (which I hope will not happen), I expect the credibility of America’s public diplomacy in the Middle East will be most adversely affected."

The Ever-Expanding Global Electronic Town Meeting: Challenges ahead for U.S. international broadcasting - Alan J. Heil, Jr - Layalina Production:

"Global engagement is the latest term of art in Washington these days. Because of their rapidly expanding digital communications capabilities, U.S.-funded overseas media outlets are poised to play an unprecedented role in amplifying traditional diplomacy by providing accurate, timely, objective and balanced news and ideas to the rapidly expanding blogosphere in an increasingly skeptical and curious world. President Obama's nomination of an entirely new U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) presents a timely opportunity for a fresh look at this potential." Heil image from article

This week's USIB news: 1) New program to Venezuela on shortwave via Greenville. 2) Greenville will close - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "''A Fondo' is a new weeknight, Spanish-language radio program targeted to audiences in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing vital news and information to a region where media freedom is under attack. With anchors at Voice of America studios in Washington, D.C. and the studios of Radio Marti in Miami, Fl., the hour-long program utilizes the unique resources of both entities to provide local, national and international news reports to audiences throughout the region. Call-in segments and interviews with experts and government officials will provide facts and opinions that are currently unavailable to listeners. 'A Fondo' (In Depth) debuted Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. EST (0100 UTC).

It is available on shortwave, medium-wave, satellite and Internet at ( It airs Monday to Friday.The program was developed in response to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's decision to shut down cable and satellite TV channels last month for failing to broadcast a speech he made.' Broadcasting Board of Governors press release, 3 February 2010. See previous post about same subject. 'The federal government wants to close the Voice of America transmission site located in Pitt County [near Greenville, North Carolina]. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget for the Broadcasting Board of Governors recommends funding increases to update satellite and other broadcasting technology. But the improvements come at the loss of the Pitt County Voice of America site and reductions in engineering staffing. The site opened in 1963 in eastern Pitt County near the Black Jack community. Closing the location should save the agency $3.1 million... . 'The justification that we have received for the closing of the Greenville Voice of America site is very thin,' [US Rep. Walter] Jones said. 'We need to get to the bottom of this before any further action is taken.' Ginger Livingston, The Daily Reflector (Greenville), 3 February 2010. See previous post about same subject." Image from

Public Diplomacy 2.0 - Popular Survey Site: [Comment by] problemsmith: "It is irresponsible for [former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs] James Glassman to talk so much about facebook if he does not even use it himself. If you know Glassma, have him contact me." UPDATE: Comment to this comment by James Glassman, who was kind enough to contact the PDPBR re problesmith: "James K. Glassman said... The comment about me above is just WRONG. I am a Facebook user! Have been for 15 months. I may not be conscientious about updating, but I use it a lot. -- Jim Glassman"

Feature: What is Nation Branding? - Mathias Akotia, Joy Online: "Country branding harmonizes national policies as varied as acts and policies of government, the values and behaviors of the citizenry, education, culture, sports, health, taxation, public diplomacy, look and feel of settlements, export and investment promotion, and infrastructure development. ... Charlotte Beers, a former head of leading advertising agency, Ogilvy and Mather, was appointed by Collin Powell as 'Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy',

to improve America’s image abroad. Beers explained her role as having '…to communicate the intangible assets of the United States-things like our belief system and our values...' Ms. Beers was simply echoing the need for America to communicate its identity- a clear believable and positive idea of what it really is, what it stands for, and where it is going to- with more clarity and consistency.Branding is no longer a choice but a necessity, and that country branding is too big for the government, businesses and civil societies acting alone, to manage. Country branding takes an integrative and concerted effort by all concerned stakeholders." Image from

PD Can Only Do So Much - Ren's Micro Diplomacy: From “'The Future of Public Diplomacy- report #6 on Winning the Cold War: the U.S. Ideological Offensive' (Dec. 22, 1968) 'A good information program can aid a positive policy, but cannot assist a mistaken one.' –Chester Bowles, U.S. Ambassador to India 'Overseas information can be no substitute for policy, clearly enunciated by the highest officials.' –Hickenlooper report 'I would say, if I might, it is the direct result from the Soviet point of view of very sound policies on the part of the Soviet Union. You see, your propaganda never can be any better than your policies. Mr. Bernays will bear me out on this. A public relations man, a propagandist, can get nowhere if his client keeps goofing all the time. You have to start with sound policies or you have nothing to propagandize.' –Lloyd A. Free, director of the Institute for International Social Research."

Medvedev created a fund to support public diplomacy - Islamic News: "President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree 'On creation of the Fund to Support Public Diplomacy AM Gorchakov,'

the press service of the head of state. Goals creation of a fund is to support public diplomacy, promoting the participation of Russian non-governmental organizations in international cooperation and active involvement of civil society institutions in the foreign policy process. RF Government mandated to ensure that the Fund in 2010-2011 budgetary allocations from the federal budget for its activities. the supervision of the Fund, the use of funds will address the board of trustees, formed from among persons recommended by the Foreign Ministry of Russia, interested federal bodies of executive authorities, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Public Chamber, the Chamber of Commerce, the media, and public organizations. Board of Trustees will also approve the long-term program and ongoing business plans. Public diplomacy – this is to inform international public, liaising with other nations in education and culture, aimed at creating an attractive image of their country." On Gorchakov, from "Traditions of the Russian Diplomatic School" Speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov at the Gorchakov Readings Dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of the Russian MFA, April 25, 2002: "Gorchakov caught the most important aim for which Russian diplomacy should work: creating the most favorable conditions possible for the internal, primarily economic and social development of the country. The chancellor proceeded from two basic principles: 'remove anything that might disturb work in the area of reform,' and 'prevent the political equilibrium being upset during this time to our detriment.' In other words, the task was set of not lowering foreign policy activity, but correlating it with the real capabilities of the country." Image from

Azerbaijan's Public Diplomacy Vis-à-Vis Russia - Fariz Ismailzade, Jamestown Foundation: "Azerbaijan recently achieved a major public diplomacy success in late January by organizing the first Russian-Azerbaijan Humanitarian Forum in Baku, which assembled more than 100 representatives of the Russian intelligentsia. ... A wide range of issues was discussed during the three day forum, including the activities of the Azerbaijani diaspora in Russia, the Karabakh conflict and the role of Russia in the peace process, as well as regional security matters, exchanging cultural and scientific experience, and further steps toward strengthening bilateral relations."

Forget tanks; can Twitter win today's Mideast war? - Reuters UK (blog): "To hear some Israeli officials and well-plugged in consultants tell it, Twitter could be the the new T-72 tank of the Middle East conflict. With violence in abeyance, Israel’s government and much of the wider society believes its enemies, notably Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, are promoting efforts to undermine its legitimacy in the eyes of Western voters, with a view to bringing about the destruction of the Jewish state that Arab adversaries have failed to achieve on the battlefield over the past 60-odd years.

That has prompted intense debate about ‘hasbara’ – literally ‘explaining’ in Hebrew, but mostly used in the sense of propaganda or public diplomacy – in Israeli society and the media. One ad-man turned diplomat, David Admon, called for a 'Ministry of Hasbara' in Haaretz this week. It would better coordinate efforts to improve Israel’s image, he argued. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the UN’s Goldstone Report, or at least the 'Goldstone effect' (whereby threat of war crimes suits might hobble Israel’s military superiority), one of the biggest threat’s to Israel’s survival, alongside Iran’s nuclear programme and Hamas and Hezbollah rockets.To counter that, the government is looking to improve its public diplomacy. However, some innovative speakers at Israel’s keynote annual national security seminar, the Herzliya Conference, have argued that Israelis’ best propaganda may be themselves, and the many thousands if not millions who have joined a worldwide web citizenry and can promote their views on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter." Image from

Israel's Uncivil War - All Headline News: "While the Israeli government has gone to great lengths in the months since the publication of the Goldstone report to respond to its content, for some in Israel the damage to the country's image was already done. Israeli politicians began blaming one another for allowing such a public diplomacy train wreck to take place while others turned to the various Israeli organizations that helped Goldstone, accusing them of using human rights discourse to malign and weaken their own country."

Dr. Shai, I presume?: MK Nachman Shai recently earned a PhD in the field he’s known best for – diplomacy in conflict - Rebecca Anna Stoil, Jerusalem Post: "As the country gears up for the latest round of the PR disaster surrounding the debate over the Goldstone report, one MK has put some serious thought into its first – and second and third – line of defense against similar incidents. So serious, in fact, that MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) recently earned a PhD on the subject, writing a dissertation under Bar-Ilan University’s Prof. Eitan Gilboa on Israel’s public diplomacy in low-intensity conflict. ... In the modern world, Shai argued,

wars are not simply won – or lost – by traditional 'hard' force, including military victories and economic sanctions, but further complicated by the concept of 'soft' force – myriad forms of pressure including the media. ... Public diplomacy, he said, has further become complicated by the rise of non-state actors. 'Hamas, for example, is a new player, relatively, that became much more relevant when it took over Gaza.' ... Part of Shai’s proposed solution, a catchall that could confront everything from Goldstone to the alleged assassination of a key Hamas figure in Dubai, is what he calls 'Nachman Shai’s trademark' – MPD (molecular public diplomacy). 'We need to form a world network of molecules and atoms that are spread all over, made up of individuals, organizations, Jews, Israelis and Israel supporters committed to speak on behalf of Israel,' explained Shai. 'Why do I need a network? Because on the other side there is a network. Because the world is flat. And there are so many sources and outlets of information that I have to address. Who is talking to a blogger in Oklahoma or in Liverpool? How is this blogger informed?' ... Another problem, said Shai, is that Israel is at least a decade behind the times in getting out its message on one of the Middle East’s most popular modes of communication, satellite television. “We don’t speak to Arabs in the Middle East, either in Arabic or English,' he complained." Shai image from article

ZAG/S&W LLP Continues Co-Sponsorship of Israel Cleantech Water Conservation and Renewable Energy Education Initiative with the Embassy of Israel - press release, AltEnergyMag: “'Many Israeli clean technology and renewable energy companies are well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the global market,' said Noam Katz, Minister of Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Israel. 'A number of Israeli companies have developed innovative solutions to the ongoing challenges of preserving water resources and developing sources of renewable energy. Some of these technologies offer the prospect of enhanced water conservation and reuse, coupled with economic development, in many areas of the globe.'”

Avatar Backlash In China: People are fuming after officials yanked the movie from theaters - Damien Ma, ‎ Forbes: "In late January, authorities from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television pulled the 2-D version of the movie from theaters to make way for Chinese-made biopic Confucius, starring Hong Kong movie darling Chow Yun-Fat. Part of the move is undoubtedly aimed at promoting homegrown cultural products, as Beijing recently announced greater dedication to expanding domestic culture industries.

China has also imposed an import quota of 20 foreign films per year under the World Trade Organization. So it is no surprise that the Chinese government is now actively peddling Confucius. Leveraging the official Xinhua news to pit the ancient sage Confucius against Cameron's blue Na'vi aliens, the media outlet has compiled links to bloggers who are defending Confucius, saying it embodies the enduring values of China. The official endorsement of the ancient moral philosopher has another dimension: Confucius is increasingly becoming the face of Chinese soft power. Taking a chapter from western public diplomacy, Beijing has set up numerous Confucius Institutes abroad--about 260 in 70 countries--to promote Chinese culture and language. But the irony is that Confucius is proving much harder to sell at home, even as state media has tried to defend it. Chinese critics and bloggers have panned the movie; some are even boycotting it to protest the government prematurely scuttling 2-D Avatar. A recent report that circulated the Chinese Internet, claiming Confucius had racked in $5.6 million in the first three days of screening, was met with skepticism from netizens. ... It's not the first time that official propaganda is countered by savvy netizens, and it won't be the last." Image: James Cameron talks about Avatar in Beijing.

Who are you? Legitimacy in Place Branding- Efe, Reaching the Public: "I submitted an article for a student publication last week on public diplomacy and place branding. Shortly speaking, I describe how and why we are using public diplomacy and grassroots movements in a regional branding project."

Our little boy is finally a man – Paul Rockower, Levantine: "I had a wonderful Bar Mitzvah party on Sunday, a grand celebration to herald this little boy finally becoming a man. ... I had some nice remarks planned, but since we were outside and there were other guests around, I cut them short. This is essentially what I planned to say: ... Looking back, if I spent my twenties traveling the world, then my thirties will be spent conquering it. And when I say 'conquering it,' I don't mean like Caesar crossing the rubicon,

but rather through soft power and public diplomacy in a tikkun olam sense. It is a project that all of us here are engaged in, trying to repair the world by making people understand each other just a bit better. Trying to carry the fire so that a dark world can be just a little bit brighter." Image: This sheet comes from an exemplar of the "Histoire Ancienne jusqu'a Caesar" and the "Faits des Romans", thirteenth-century historical compilations that were still highly popular in the fifteenth century.

Chicagoans Lew Manilow, Linda Johnson Rice, Beth White plus designer MichaelSmith tapped for White House preservation panel - Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times (blog): From White House press release: "Mr. Manilow was Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Public Diplomacy."

Feb. 24-May 12: Global Agenda series to focus on 'Understanding Political Islam' - University of Delaware: "The 10th anniversary Global Agenda Speaker Series on 'Understanding Political Islam,' sponsored by the University of Delaware Center for Political Communication, will begin at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, in Mitchell Hall on the UD campus in Newark. ... The opening speaker will be Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland on 'Rethinking the Islamic World Paradigm.'

Telhami was adviser to the U.S. mission to the United Nations from 1990-91. He served on the Iraq Study Group and on the State Department's Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World, and he co-drafted its report, Changing Minds, Winning Peace." Telhami image from article

British Embassy Internship Program - Naombakazi.Com: "The British Embassy’s Internship Program is designed to supplement undergraduate coursework in international affairs, government, public affairs, economics, US-UK relations human relations, environmental studies, or finance, and overall understanding of British Government policies. The program allows students to work part-time in a fast-paced environment at the centre of this important trans-Atlantic relationship. Interns can work in any of several exciting departments within the Embassy Network, in order to further develop their own understanding of and interest in those areas. ... Departments: ... Political, Economic and Communications Group (PECG) The PEPA Group is responsible in the Embassy for a wide range of issues, including media relations, public diplomacy, fostering the exchange of best practice in domestic policy, and analysis and reporting of US politics and economics. Students studying public diplomacy, economics, media relations or PR, journalism, or international affairs can gain valuable real-world experience in their fields through an internship with PEPA." Below image from

Carpe DCR Focal Point - Naombakazi.Com: "VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT TITLE: CARPE DRC FOCAL POINT PROGRAMME: Central Africa Regional Programme for Environment (CARPE) DUTY STATION: Kinshasa – Democratic Republic of Congo TYPE OF APPOINTMENT: 1 year renewable REPORTING TO: CARPE Regional Programme Manager [.] As CARPE moves from lessons learned to field implementation with specific emphasis on twelve selected landscapes in the Congo Basin, the Focal Points are so vital for the monitoring and reporting process. Under the technical, administrative and financial management of the host related international partner (IUCN in this case), Focal Points, as field-based staff, are better placed to link field activities to policy priorities as identified by host governments, play a central role in public diplomacy, strengthen civil society capacity for advocacy Under the administrative and technical supervision of the IUCN-CARPE Program Manager based in the IUCN-Regional Office in Yaounde, major duties and main tasks of IUCN-CARPE Focal Points will be as follows [including] ... Play a central role in public diplomacy, linking field to host governments and US Embassies."


Are US viewers "starting to switch over to foreign channels"? - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: "Television viewers in the United States seeking international news are starting to switch over to foreign channels to learn what is happening in the outside world, media watchers here say. 'They are comparable to CNN,' said Steve Randall, about television news channels such as Russia Today, Al Jazeera, CCTV of China, and the Press TV of Iran, which are now being watched by millions of people in the United States via cable and dish networks. ... Randall, a senior analyst at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a media watchdog group, thinks many people are turning to foreign media outlets because there is so little coverage devoted to foreign affairs on U.S. network and cable television news." Haider Rizvi, Inter Press Service, 29 January 2010. [Elliott comment:] Let's not get carried away here. Only Al Jazeera, of the mentioned channels, is "comparable to CNN." (CNN International, Al Jazeera English, and BBC World News are the big three of the global English-language news channels.) Access to the international channels on U.S. cable and satellite systems is still limited, and audiences range from small (for BBC World), to very small (for the rest). I'm sure Press TV is on no US cable system, so access to that channel would be limited to internet video stream.

A Profile of the Taliban's Propaganda Tactics - Abdulhadi Hairan, Huffington Post: The Taliban's propaganda tactics exploit a particular incident or issue by elevating it with seemingly related background information to provoke the local people to stand up for violence. Mosques are favorite places for the Taliban propagandists who always seek to convince the villagers that the international forces are fighting against Islam and it is their holy obligation to stand up for jihad.

Internet has proved the fastest and the most useful propaganda tool for the Taliban during these years. The main things that provide base for effective propaganda are using the history of wars between Christians and Muslims, using religious and cultural differences between the West and the East, the idea of the clash of civilizations, by denouncing the West as oppressive against Islam, by calling the War on Terror a War against Islam, by condemning the international forces as "occupiers and invaders," the government of Afghanistan as its puppet, and the reconstruction works as "efforts of Christianizing Afghanistan," by using civilian casualties of air strikes and using media reports of prisoners' abuses and mistreatment in their favor. Image from

The power of propaganda - KARACHI: Film, specifically documentaries, can be a very powerful medium for propaganda and when viewing a documentary, one must be aware of who has paid for its production and what they seek to achieve with it. This is what acclaimed film-maker Professor Alan Segal told the audience during a lecture titled ‘Media and documentary’ organised by the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) here on Wednesday.


James K. Glassman said...

The comment about me above is just WRONG. I am a Facebook user! Have been for 15 months. I may not be conscientious about updating, but I use it a lot. -- Jim Glassman

CrisisMaven said...

For students or researchers: I have just added an Economics Reference List to my economics blog with economic and statistical data series, history, bibliographies etc. for students & researchers, probably the most comprehensive on the Internet. Currently over 200 meta sources, it will soon grow to over a thousanseshd. Check it out and if you miss something, feel free to leave a comment.

John Brown said...

Hi Jim -

Have added your comment to the piece on which you commented.

Thank you for your interest in the PDPBR.



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