Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Monday, July 21st 2014
By Katie Leasor, Program Designer, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, The Collaboratory
I was sitting in a meeting with a local D.C. charter school at the State Department when my colleague came up with a brilliant idea on how we could collaborate with them on virtual exchange programs. I began writing it down in my notebook when the black ink slowly turned grey, and eventually wouldn’t write at all.
Despite anxiously drawing circles to try and revive it, my pen died.
Monday, July 21st 2014
Voice of America Director David Ensor has just published an inspiring essay outlining a vision for the nation’s largest U.S.-funded overseas civilian network in the year 2020. Ensor, who served as the senior public diplomacy officer at the American Embassy in Kabul in 2010 and 2011 before coming to VOA, coordinated a broad range of press and cultural activities in Afghanistan. These included assistance to help Afghans build a modern mobile telephone, radio and TV infrastructure. From 1975-2006, Ensor was a nationally known correspondent at NPR, ABC News and CNN. At VOA, Ensor has presided over an expansion of its weekly audience to a record high 164 million adults via a range of digital and traditional media formats. This far surpasses Cold war peaks. The Voice, under Ensor’s leadership, is now continuing to reach even more users. It is capitalizing on the recent introduction of new mobile and tablet apps that work on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices designed to serve millions more eager for objective news about the United States and their own neighborhoods, unique windows on the world from an American perspective. You may access the Ensor vision of VOA’s future HERE.
Sunday, July 13th 2014
Seven decades ago, fascism was in its death throes. A quarter of a century ago, the Berlin Wall fell, setting in motion the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. In this century, however, those world-shaking events seem to be “history” as our nation faces an array of grave new challenges.
The recent death of Walter Roberts – broadcaster, diplomat, architect and builder of Public Diplomacy, educator, and co-founder of the Public Diplomacy Council – reminds us that those events are still within living memory. They shaped the future we all inhabit. The institutions of Public Diplomacy that were founded during the struggles of the twentieth century remain, ready for refocus and renewal in a turbulent new era.
Monday, June 16th 2014
A bill moving through Congress would make substantial changes to United States international broadcasting. It would separate the oversight and management of the Voice of America from that of the so-called "surrogate" broadcasters. It would also scale back the VOA's mandate as a "full service" global news broadcaster, ordering the flagship station to focus on U.S. policies and descriptions of life in America. The "surrogates" (Radio/TV Marti, Middle East Broadcasting, Radio Free Asia) would cover events in their regions.
The Washington Post carried in part an observation by one of the giants of public diplomacy, Hans N. Tuch. The piece is so brief and telling, I asked Tom for permission to carry it here. Click Read More to see Tom's full article, with an interesting story. And leave a comment with your thoughts!
Thursday, June 5th 2014
Public Diplomacy is much about communication, advocacy, and appeals. Public Diplomacy practitioners can learn this from textbooks, theories, and seminars, but the past opens another window.
American were keyed up on June 6, 1944, when President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to the nation. From fragmentary news reports – the wire services always monitored German broadcasts – most of the nation already knew the Normandy invasion had begun.
What better way is there for us, heirs to the peace, to mark tomorrow’s 70th anniversary than to take a professional look at public communication on “The Longest Day.” The written record, photography, sound, and film provide enough material for a book, but for now we may focus on the President’s radio prayer, heard by as many as 100 million Americans at 10:00 in the morning of June 6.