Thursday, December 8th 2011
I'm afraid the concept of a virtual embassy in Teheran is virtually nonexistent. Such virtual embassy websites are not difficult to block and that is exactly what Iran has done. Did this surprise anyone in the USG?
To quote the White House:
"Through this action, the Iranian government has once again demonstrated its commitment to build an electronic curtain of surveillance and censorship around its people."
Tuesday, November 22nd 2011
The recent highly successful PDC conference at George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs illuminated the seldom recognized but essential work of public diplomacy officers abroad. It was a rich global scan of field post activities and their impact, both in today's digital communications environment but in the many professional dialogues administered by USIA and State Department specialists since 1999.
Tuesday, November 22nd 2011
The date will always stick in my mind for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, who made perhaps the strongest impact on America's image of any president in the 20th Century. Council Member Leonard Baldyga has found on the Web the U.S. Information Agency's film Years of Lightening/Day of Drums, which the Congress excepted from the Smith-Mundt Act provisions for viewing in the United States. Always worth a look, and especially on this day.
Monday, October 3rd 2011
An old story has been repeating itself recently in Washington. Once again, an element of U.S. international broadcasting has been criticized by politicians with a narrow view of its mission. Once again, by implication, the criticism brought the independence of American overseas broadcast operations into question. And, once again, came a firm and timely restatement of why those operations do what they do.
This time around, as reported in CQ Weekly in September, the criticism targeted Alhurra, the U.S.-sponsored Arab language television channel. According to the report, Alhurra drew the ire of some members of Congress “for broadcasting interviews with the leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas — groups the United States has branded as terrorist organizations.” It’s not clear what the interviews conveyed. But that’s not really the point here. Nor does it much matter when the interviews were aired or even what one thinks of Alhurra itself.
Monday, August 15th 2011
August is a time for reflection. International broadcasting, among many U.S. funded national security institutions, is immersed in questions this summer about its mission, its reach and its cost effectiveness. Our pioneer publicly-funded overseas network, the Voice of America, is just a few months shy of its 70th anniversary. What is its role and impact in the ever widening galaxy of U.S. government funded overseas broadcast entities?