Matt Armstrong's blog on public diplomacy, international journalism, and the struggle against propaganda

Smith-Mundt Readings

The following are articles, both scholarly and opinion, to understand the current legislation and its impact.

Public Diplomacy, Smith-Mundt and the American Public by Emily Metzgar. This is a good analysis of the modern discussion around the act, however it repeats the old myths about the original design and intent of the law as well as the original environment . (Emily T. Metzgar (2012): Public Diplomacy, Smith-Mundt and the American Public, Communication Law and Policy, 17:1, 67-101)

Reforming Smith-Mundt: Making American Public Diplomacy Safe for Americans by Matt Armstrong, 2 August 2010, at World Politics Review.

Raising the Iron Curtain on Twitter: why the United States must revise the Smith-Mundt Act to improve public diplomacy by Jeremy Berkowitz, January 2010. This is the most comprehensive and best legal review of the Smith-Mundt Act.

Much ado about State Department ‘propaganda’ by Josh Rogin at ForeignPolicy.com, May 23, 2012.

Dial back the outrage: Repealing a ban on showing international broadcasts is not the same as allowing propaganda by Emily Metzgar at Columbia Journalism Review, May 25, 2012

Smith-Mundt Act: A Legislative History (PDF) by Burton Paulu, Journalism Quarterly, Summer 1953.

U.S. International Broadcasting: An Untapped Resource For Domestic And Ethnic News Organizations by Shawn Powers, in Robert W. McChesney and Victor Pickard’s Will the Last Reporter Please Turn out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done To Fix It (New Press, 2011)

A Brief History of Smith-Mundt and Why Changing it Matters, February 23, 2012


The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2010 (the previously introduced version)

The rising importance of people and public opinion (Oct 1945 testimony)