• Media,  Russia

    Russia’s War on Information

    The best counter to propaganda is truth and transparency, not more propaganda. Honest, unbiased facts coupled with unimpeded discussion by an informed citizenry is the most powerful weapon against the Kremlin’s disinformation that drains the future from Russia’s people and threatens Russia’s neighbors. ... This is not about Russia Today. This is about Russia’s tomorrow.

  • Government Broadcasting

    Russia Today (RT) expands into San Francisco, claims ratings success in Washington and New York

    As the debate over whether Al Jazeera English should be available in the United States continues, Russia Today, the Russian government’s international news channel, quietly makes inroads across the United States. Kim Andrew Elliott, audience analyst at the International Broadcasting Bureau, a unit of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, draws our attention to a press release from RT from 11 February 2011: RT, an international TV news channel, has launched its English-language feed, 24×7, on San Francisco’s major cable provider, Comcast, which brings it to approximately 4 million viewers in the San Francisco metro area. In the U.S., RT is carried by cable networks in New York, NY; Chicago, IL;…

  • Public Diplomacy

    A surprising public diplomacy win

    Getting a visa to travel to another country can be challenging and expensive. The process, bureaucratic by nature, has more potential to frustrate the applicant and reinforce negative stereotypes than to create positive impressions. 

  • Now Media

    Cyber Probing: The Politicisation of Virtual Attack

    Despite its pervasiveness in our daily lives, from social media to electrical networks to banking, the critical nature of the online remains ill-understood or appreciated. “Cyberspace,” a recent report asserts, “remains inadequately defended, policed and indeed comprehended.” This is the conclusion of Alex Michael, a researcher for the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In Cyber Probing: The Politicisation of Virtual Attack, Alex dispels the comfortable belief – expressed in practice and conceptualization of online and new media – that the cyber world is somehow separate from the “real” world. In fact, they are simply new tools used for traditional activities. Cyber attacks, Alex points out, are used “in conjunction…

  • Public Diplomacy

    Defense Department roundtable on the Nuclear Posture Review

    Earlier this week, the Defense Department’s Blogger Roundtable with Dr. Bradley R. Roberts, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense, and Admiral John Roberti, Deputy Director for Strategy and Policy, J-5, The Joint Staff, about the Nuclear Posture Review. The transcript here (PDF 106kb) as the podcast is here. My question was aimed at the public diplomacy opportunities of the nuclear weapons talks & events, which range from the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) to the Nuclear Summit next week to the START replacement negotiations, to the May non-proliferation conference at the United Nations. My question below is followed by the responses of Dr. Roberts.

  • Public Diplomacy

    If they don’t know you won, did you?

    The wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere challenge the traditional conception of “victory.” What is victory when capturing the capital does not cause the population to succumb to your wishes, assuming of course there’s a central government to topple? This isn’t an issue in “traditional” conflicts, like World War I and II and even, to many, the Cold War. Or is it? Nick Cull just returned from a trip to Russia to discuss public diplomacy at a Russian international relations university that “graduates 80% of Russian diplomats.” Not surprisingly, they talked about the end of the Cold War: It became obvious that these students had not spent much time…