• China,  Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Public Diplomacy

    Another US Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee released its report on the imbalance of public diplomacy activities between China and the United States. Entitled “Another U.S. Deficit – China and America – Public Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet,” this is the final version of the report I reviewed on 11 February. Commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Committee, the report is a unique and necessary review of Chinese Government engagement in America. The report also highlights Chinese obstruction of reciprocity and U.S. Government failure to act, notably in the area of information freedom initiatives. The timing of this report is critical. It comes on the…

  • Government Broadcasting,  ICT,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    Freedom to Connect

    By Jerry Edling “You will not be able to stay home, brother. You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out. You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip, Skip out for beer during commercials, Because the revolution will not be televised.” — Gil Scott-Heron, From the album “Small Talk at 125th and Lennox” (1970) “The revolution will not be televised…but it may be tweeted.” Posted on weeseeyou.com January 28, 2011 In some ways, Gil Scott-Heron’s song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” was ahead of its time. The lyrics were recited rather than sung, accompanied by congas and a bongo drum,…

  • China,  Cultural Diplomacy,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    China and American Public Diplomacy: Another US Deficit

    Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) will publish another major report on public diplomacy shortly. Written by Paul Foldi, senior professional staff on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, this report focuses on Chinese public diplomacy with the inevitable comparison to U.S. efforts. I was given a sneak peak at the report. It comes at a time when tough talk in Congress on the State Department’s budget could benefit from such an analysis of a country that is both a major competitor and partner across all aspects of national power and daily life. This report is another in-depth investigation and commentary on a critical aspect of U.S. global engagement. It focuses on the…

  • Government Broadcasting

    RFE/RL President Jeff Gedmin to Depart for Legatum Institute

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors announced this morning that Jeff Gedmin has resigned from RFE/RL. Jeff will depart Prague-based RFE/RL at the end of February 2011, four years after taking the helm. He will leave to become the CEO/President of Legatum Institute in London, “investors in industries, individuals and ideas.” Jeff told Josh Rogin that it was “the right time to move on because if I’m telling my people to step out of their comfort zone and be open to growth, I have to be able to take my own advice.” Walter Isaacson, chairman of the BBG, said in a statement, “Jeff’s passion for the power of the truth has…

  • Events,  Government Broadcasting,  Media

    Event: International Broadcasting and Public Media

    Checkout this event of potential value at the New America Foundation, “International Broadcasting and Public Media.” The event’s description is promising, as are the panelists (described as ‘participants’ but surely the audience will be allowed to participate as well, right?). In an increasingly digital media landscape, people across the globe are relating to their news outlets in new ways. The missions of media producers are changing, as technological innovations reshape news networks into communities. The assumption is that U.S. public media institutions and international broadcasters are also transforming themselves to serve the emerging public interests in media. How should these institutions be changing to meet the needs of audiences that…

  • Government Broadcasting

    BBC radio in English, Persian, Somali, Urdu now on US cell phones

    News and information knows no boundaries. Borders of geography, technology, and language are quickly evaporating as content moves with increasing ease across mediums and political borders. The latest example of the “now media” environment is the BBC, which just announced the availability of its “live radio broadcasts via mobile phones in the United States.” The extension of the BBC’s agreement with provider of mobile phone radio distribution in North America, AudioNow, means that now, in addition to BBC Arabic radio, BBC World Service’s broadcasts in English, Persian, Somali and Urdu are now available across the US via any mobile phone without downloads or data services, simply by calling a national…

  • Government Broadcasting

    BBG Chairman: customer-oriented, platform-neutral

    This week, Walter Isaacson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, gave some remarks (PDF, 41kb) at the celebration of sixty years of Radio Free Europe. Walter, with his long history in the media business and the author of biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein. Walter acknowledged the newly appointed Board’s launch of a year-long comprehensive review to remake the BBG into “a great virtual global news service” that would provide reliable reporting across mediums and with social media input from the global audience. This is similar to the trend of major media to incorporate readers and viewers into news development and dissemination. The goal, Walter said, is to become…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    The BBG’s Honeymoon: All Work and No Play

    The subject of government-supported broadcasting has risen out of seemingly nowhere over the past year. Several high quality reports have appeared, including those by Senator Richard Lugar, Shawn Powers, and the Lowy Institute in Australia. Over at Layalina, I put in my nickel on the discussion with regard to the challenge faced by the new leadership of America’s non-military government broadcasting. There is a new governor in town, eight of them in fact. For the first time in six years, all of the top jobs at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) are filled. Half of the seats sat empty for up to four years, including the chairmanship for the…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Australian report on international broadcasting and its contribution to public diplomacy

    Despite the dozens of reports on U.S. public diplomacy, it is actually quite rare to see an in-depth study on public diplomacy, particularly in the areas of government broadcasting. The “too many” reports have often focused on specific cogs without regard to their place in the greater bureaucratic machine that spans the whole of whatever government the agency happens to be in. Even more rare is an in-depth public analysis of the public diplomacy of another country by another country. This week, an Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, published such a report. This report, International broadcasting and its contribution to public diplomacy by Annmaree O’Keeffe and Alex Oliver, is…