• 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…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy,  Smith-Mundt

    Recalling History: Making the Case for U.S. Government Broadcasting

    As Americans, we are detached from our history. True, remaining anchored to the past can hold back progress, understanding what came before and thus the trajectory of past activities that shape today is helpful. As the saying goes, those who fail to grasp history are doomed to repeat it. Understanding the context of public diplomacy, the institutions, and methods is important. For too many, public diplomacy began in the 1980s when the beginning of recent memory. At a 2009 conference organized by Doug Wilson, now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, I sat on a “scene setting” panel with Harriet Fulbright, widow of the late Senator Fulbright, Len…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    China hosts seminar for developing countries on guiding public opinion and building a national brand

    Last month, China hosted an event for Information Ministers from twenty developing countries titled “Actively Guiding Public Opinion and Building up Sound National Image.” According to Sierra Leone News: The workshop focused on the cooperation and development between the Chinese and foreign media and information department encompassing political, economic, cultural and social aspects. Participants raised grave concern about the negative media coverage given to developing countries despite efforts of these countries to match up with modern standards. The Secretary General of the Information office in China, Mr. Feng Xwang said the western media controls the voice of news report thereby failing to report on the social life of the people. …

  • Government Broadcasting

    Broadcasting board decides Voice of America can peruse WikiLeak documents

    Al Kamen reports that, Some new members of the Broadcasting Board of Governors were most upset by a column item last Wednesday noting that the IT and security folks at the International Broadcasting Bureau had instructed Voice of America employees to not read or e-mail any of the WikiLeaks material on their government computers (bit of a blow to original reporting). The issue was apparently that the infrastructure component of the BBG, the International Broadcasting Bureau, or IBB, was dictating the rules of the game to VOA journalists. Fortunately, the brand new Board members authorized the Director of the VOA to “proceed with reporting on the disclosure of classified documents…

  • Congress,  Government Broadcasting

    Congress and International Broadcasting

    While the nominees for the Broadcasting Board of Governors remain in a holding pattern in the Senate, mostly likely because of Senator Tom Coburn, there is good news on the US international broadcasting front. The bill to permanently authorize Radio Free Asia has passed an important milestone. According to a Senate source, last Friday, the Radio Free Asia bill was “hotlined” on the Republican side. This means there was no Republican opposition to considering the bill for unanimous consent. The next step is to hotline the bill on the Democrat side, which may or may not have occurred before you read this. See also: Senator Richard Lugar’s report on the…

  • China,  Government Broadcasting,  Media,  Public Diplomacy

    CCTV: China’s soft power in the Middle East

    On May 27, 2010, The National published an article about China’s engagement strategy, carried out by state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV), toward Arab television viewers in the Middle East and North Africa. Many countries broadcast to the Middle East in Arabic, including France, Russia, and the U.S., but China is different: it broadcasts, from Beijing, to the region in Chinese with Arabic subtitles. Instead of focusing on news and current events in the Middle East, CCTV highlights Chinese culture and the arts. Simply, “…CCTV Arabic aims to tell the Arab world about China.“ In his article, Daniel Bardsley further describes China’s strategy, which involves voicing the views of the…

  • Government Broadcasting,  Public Diplomacy

    Update on the confirmation of US Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The US Broadcasting Board of Governors continues to operate with a minimum of members, just enough for a quorum. The Board currently has four members, no chair, each of which continues several years (from over 3 to nearly 6) past their terms expired. Since March 23, 2010, the six of the replacement slate of eight members have been queued up for confirmation. Two of members, Dana Perino and Michael Meehan, were in a holding pattern pending more questions and answers from Senators. Last week, it appeared the nominees would be confirmed before the Senate recessed for Memorial Day. Alan Heil, noted expert on US government broadcasting explains the current situation:…