• Congress,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy,  Reports

    Senate Report on the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The most extensive report on the issues facing the Broadcasting Board of Governors and US international broadcasting was released this week. “US International Broadcasting – Is Anybody Listening? – Keeping the US Connected” (1mb PDF) was prepared by the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the leadership of senior professional staff member Paul Foldi, and is the best, if not the only, substantial review of its kind. The report describes the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) as transforming from its intent of a political “firewall” to a modern political “football” that has resulted in an average vacancy on the board of over 470 days. Even now, the new…

  • Congress,  Defense Department,  Public Diplomacy,  Reports,  Smith-Mundt,  State Department

    Smith-Mundt Act: Facts, Myths and Recommendations

    The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 is the authorizing legislation for America’s public diplomacy and strategic communication. This three-page information sheet addresses confusion surrounding the Act and makes recommendations that are fundamental to any improvement to US public diplomacy and strategic communication. It is ironic that legislation intended to counter misinformation is itself subject to misinformation to the point few know the Act’s purpose and true application. The following is a short three page overview written at the request of and for a (pro bono) client who is neither the State Department nor the Defense Department. Download here or read below or at Scribd.

  • Interagency,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy,  Reports

    House Appropriations Concerned Pentagon’s Role in Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy (updated)

    American public diplomacy wears combat boots. The Defense Department necessarily, if unwilling and clumsily to begin with, stepped in to fill a gap left by an absent State Department. Today, the situation is different with Defense running increasingly sophisticated efforts, often with the collaboration and support of State and other entities within the Government.

  • Public Diplomacy,  Reports

    New GAO Report on Public Diplomacy is out (Updated)

    U.S. Public Diplomacy: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight, GAO-09-679SP, May 27, 2009. Download here (PDF, 566kb) or read online here. Highlights: The United States’ current national communication strategy lacks a number of desirable characteristics identified by GAO, such as a clear definition of the problem, desired results, and a delineation of agency roles and responsibilities. … The United States’ current national communication strategy lacks a number of desirable characteristics identified by GAO, such as a clear definition of the problem, desired results, and a delineation of agency roles and responsibilities. … State faces a number of human capital challenges that influence the effectiveness of its public diplomacy operations. … Security…

  • Interagency,  Public Diplomacy,  Reports

    Summarizing Public Diplomacy Reports

    GAO, CRS, academics, and anyone else interested in Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication must look at Steve Corman’s quick and dirty and most coherent summary ever of eighteen major public diplomacy reports from the most recent White Oak report back to a 2004 Brookings Report. The raw numbers don’t tell the complete the story, but that half or more of the reports shared four recommendations is significant. Somebody, perhaps one of Steve’s student’s, should take this a step further: look at the reports’ definition of public diplomacy and weigh the recommendations accordingly. Is Public Diplomacy an active component in the struggle of minds and wills using “fast” and “slow” communications…