There’s a new #1 “R”

Milestone near Richmond Park, Greater London area, UK
Source: Matt Armstrong, taken in East Sheen near Richmond Park.

Milestones are important. They were originally to reassure travelers that they were on the right path, how far they had gone, and how far they had to go. Living in London, I find it surprising how many milestones, many of which are hundreds of years old, are hiding in plain sight. They do not, however, tell us how we are doing.  Continue reading “There’s a new #1 “R””

Loy Henderson: supporter of public diplomacy, but perhaps not jazz

Loy Henderson
Source: Wikipedia

In the world of U.S. public diplomacy, jazz is often portrayed as an “instrument” of “soft power”, and presumably of “public diplomacy”. The music is democratic by nature. It communicates, as does all music, but it has a particular way of “freeing” the listener to transport and convey messages. It is an art form that inspires. The Public Diplomacy Council recently co-hosted an event on this. 
Continue reading “Loy Henderson: supporter of public diplomacy, but perhaps not jazz”

Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites #79

March 9, 2016
 
Intended for teachers of public diplomacy and related courses, here is an update on resources that may be of general interest.  Suggestions for future updates are welcome.
 
Bruce Gregory
Adjunct Professor
George Washington University
Georgetown University
BGregory@gwu.edu
Bg243@georgetown.edu
  Continue reading “Diplomacy’s Public Dimension: Books, Articles, Websites #79”

Lippman on the Media

Walter Lippmann was an astute political philosopher, journalist, and economist. He (rightly) viewed competent journalists as critical to democracy, while ignorant journalists, and ignorance of journalism, was a threat to democracy.

“Men who have lost their grip upon the relevant facts of their environment are the inevitable victims of agitation and propaganda. The quack, the charlatan, the jingo, and the terrorist, can flourish only where the audience is deprived of independent access to information.”

— Walter Lippmann, Liberty and the News, 1920

Continue reading “Lippman on the Media”

1949: “You’ve told us why the Voice, but you haven’t told us what it is”

"INP Kept Busy 'Untwisting' News of U.S."
Source: “INP Kept Busy ‘Untwisting’ News of U.S.” by Emily Towe in the December 18, 1949 edition of The Washington Post. [INP – International Press and News Division. USIS was the distribution side, while INP and other divisions in Public Affairs were the production side.]
In August 1949, George V. Allen wrote an article for the Washington Star newspaper. He was responding to a frequently question of the time: why were Voice of America programs not conveniently heard inside the United States. Allen was the best person to answer the question as the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, and thus the “owner” of VOA and the rest of what we today would call “public diplomacy”  Continue reading “1949: “You’ve told us why the Voice, but you haven’t told us what it is””

VOA in 1967

Source: http://www.ontheshortwaves.com/VOA_Stamp.html

In May 1967, The New York Times reported that the Voice of America was:

  • Broadcasting using 35 transmitters inside the United States;
  • Broadcasting using 57 transmitters outside the United States;
  • Broadcasting in 38 languages, although one-quarter of the total output was in English; and,
  • Rebroadcast by 3,000 radio stations using taped programs, adding 15,000 transmitter hours each week.

Continue reading “VOA in 1967”

No, We Do Not Need to Revive the U.S. Information Agency – endnote edition

Cheshire cat queries Alice

You know you’ve heard it. Whether it was at the office, at school, or a social setting (how erudite of you!), you heard someone bemoan the loss of the United States Information Agency. Perhaps that someone was you. In my experience, these laments are really a coded acknowledgment that the U.S. lacks a strategy, an organizing principle, and empowered individuals to operate in an information-driven world. Continue reading “No, We Do Not Need to Revive the U.S. Information Agency – endnote edition”