Public Diplomacy,  State Department

Alan Heil: Challenges ahead for U.S. international broadcasting

Alan HeilRecommended: Alan Heil’s The Ever-Expanding Global Electronic Town Meeting: Challenges ahead for U.S. international broadcasting at Layalina’s Perspectives:

Imagine an electronic town meeting of person-to-person communications, writ large. So large, in fact, that it encompasses the entire planet, digitally. Entering this arena is the primary challenge to U.S. publicly-funded civilian overseas networks in a new decade, as 21st century international broadcasting approaches its adolescent years amid unpredictable geopolitical and technological challenges. …

As outlined below, agenda items in the new decade could include a review of broadcast priorities, increasing coordination among networks, exploring the use of social media and information sharing, expanding training programs, pursuing a public-private partnership, and strengthening protections for objective and accurate journalistic standards. …

The bottom line: international broadcasting can set the record straight instantaneously (as in real-time news reporting of events in Iran, China, Burma, Haiti, and terrorism’s deadly toll). But it is also long-range; listening to and reflecting over time countless conversations of "collective groups" about how to improve individuals’ lives in an ever-expanding global electronic town meeting. It can enrich the blogosphere in this lively marketplace of ideas, while empowering publics as never before. May the new leadership of U.S. international broadcasting seize the moment. The 21st century adolescent years of their trade can truly be a time of renewal central to the growing global engagement that America seeks.

Read the whole essay here.