Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Wednesday, November 7th 2012
Yesterday's Presidential elections offered a rich vein of information and insights for public diplomacy officers around the world.
No matter your politics, the turnout and the changing demographics of the American electorate combined with the spectacle of ordinary voters having their say. The election's outcome leaves undecided how the campaign's bitterly fought policy issues may be resolved, but that leaves a playground for pundits and prognosticators at embassy presentations. If I were still a public affairs officer, I would rubbing my hands in glee at the program possibilities.
I'm no longer a PAO, but yesterday I saw the voting from the inside as an officer of elections for Arlington County, Virginia.
Tuesday, October 16th 2012
John Cale, a founder of the Velvet Underground and prolific musical innovator, explained in a recent interview what set his direction at age fifteen, when he was a viola student in Wales. "There was this fella called Willis Conover," he began. The legendary Voice of America jazz broadcaster spun Miles Davis records that Cale struggled to understand.
Tuesday, October 2nd 2012
Wednesday, the nation will watch President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney debate in a milestone of the presidential election campaign. The world will be watching too, and millions will get news from the Voice of America and other government-funded outlets like Al Hurra.
Click below for a report on the panel co-sponsored with the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy yesterday. Council Member Alan Heil has captured the discussion about how USG-funded foreign broadcasters are presenting the Presidential elections in Iran and the Middle East, and what they're hearing from their foreign audiences.
Wednesday, September 19th 2012
Read my colleagues' posts below. What we have here is a genuine clash of values.
Most Westerners, especially Americans, believe that freedom of speech extends even to those who mock religion. Many Muslims believe that words and images which are disrespectful to Islam must be censored, and some, not only terrorists, are willing to kill those whom they hold responsible.
Looking beyond the events in Benghazi, this fundamental disagreement will endure and continue to cause bitter dispute and ever more violence across the region. This is a quintessential issue for public diplomacy.
Monday, September 17th 2012
It’s been less than a week since U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats were murdered in Libya, unprotected by Diplomatic Security in a notoriously unstable country. Yet six days after that chaotic night when our government didn't even know where Ambassador Stevens was for up to eight hours, until his body was found at a local hospital, the focus of much of the discussion of these events has been stuck on domestic politics rather than on questions such as: Where was our ambassador's security? Why was he in an unguarded consulate more than 400 miles from the embassy on the anniversary of 9/11? Why were they not better prepared?