• BBG

    Serving until Replaced: the recurring story of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors is presently working toward updating its organization and strategy to meet America’s 21st Century needs.  Whether you agree with the suggestions or not, most of the proposed changes remain just that: proposed as they await approval for many of the key changes.  The BBG provided a “narrative” but you will have to wait until next month, I’m told, for the detailed plan. Back in September 2010, I wrote about the “honeymoon” the then-new Board would enjoy.  Indeed, after two years without a chairman and with only four members, serving appointments that expired six years earlier, the neglected BBG was due and eager for fresh leadership. For background,…

  • BBG,  Government Broadcasting

    All Quiet on the Western Front: a look at the Five-Year Strategic Plan for U.S. International Broadcasting

    Content is king, and credibility will continue to be the North Star of U.S. international broadcasting program producers and reporters in every region of the world and in the United States. As the strategic plan shows, the Board can supply an overarching policy framework. But accurate, objective journalism produced at the broadcaster level is what matters most and empowers listeners in a wide range of settings, from refugee camps in Africa, Tibetan monasteries in India, to large communities of social media consumers in the cities of China, Russia, the Arab world, Iran, North Korea, and in an awakening Burma. Although choices will be painful for all the broadcasters of the…

  • Defense Department

    US Navy Rescues Iranian fisherman after saving Iranian cargo ship

    According to CJ Chivers of The New York Times, this week the US Navy broke up an attempted hijacking of an Iranian cargo ship by Somali pirates and after some clever surveillance, ended up rescuing Iranian fishermen held hostage by the same pirates. Senior Iranian military officials this week bluntly warned an American aircraft carrier that it would confront the “full force” of the Iranian military if it tried to re-enter the Persian Gulf. ,,, On Friday, Fazel Ur Rehman, a 28-year-old Iranian fisherman, had a warmer greeting for the carrier task force. … “It is like you were sent by God,” said Mr. Rehman, huddled under a blanket in this vessel’s…

  • Admin

    A New MountainRunner

    Dear Readers, as you may have noticed, this blog has gotten a facelift.  Over the next week you should see other improvements and a resumption in blogging.  Stay tuned for more, including details on the hiatus.  For the impatient, you can read my comments on Brian’s post at the Public Diplomacy Council. Notes related to the change in the blog may be found here. If you’d like to submit a guest post, review the guidelines and then email me.

  • Public Diplomacy

    There is a new Executive Director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy

    The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy is charged with appraising U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. The Commission formulates and recommends to the President, the Secretary of State, and Members of Congress policies and programs to carry out the public diplomacy functions vested in the State Department, Broadcasting Board of Governors, and other government agencies, as well as appraising the effectiveness of the public diplomacy policies and programs carried out by government agencies. There are seven members on the Commission, with “not more than four members may be from one political party.” In February, the White House sent to the Senate four nominations for…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Academia and Public Diplomacy: a new relationship

    There was something new at the 2011 International Studies Association conference in Montreal, Canada: a working group on public diplomacy. Organized by Craig Hayden, assistant professor at American University, and co-chaired by Kathy Fitzpatrick, professor at Quinnipiac University, it was a unique discussion to create a community of scholars across the many disciplines that comprise “public diplomacy.” Keynotes were given by Matt Armstrong and Maureen Cormack, Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Congratulations to Craig for a terrific, productive and long overdue working group. I’ll leave it to the participants to highlight the discussions of the day. Hopefully we will see…

  • Public Diplomacy,  Social Media

    Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level

    In the realm of public diplomacy reports, there are too few that should be on your required reading list. “Social Media Strategy: Bringing Public Diplomacy 2.0 to the next level” (820kb PDF) is an exception. Written by Carolijn van Noort, a former intern at the Department of Public Diplomacy, Press & Culture of the Consulate General of the Netherlands, this 53-page report is a terrific analysis of the challenges of public diplomacy in today’s Now Media environment. Intended to explore the new public diplomacy of the Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, and its various Consulates, the “public diplomacy 2.0” activities of the United States are also included . Carolijn rightly…