Love It or Hate It, #GivingTuesday Has Become 'A Thing'

NPR | Dec 1, 2015

#GivingTuesday was born four years ago to encourage people to open their wallets for a good cause...Some critics think #GivingTuesday clutters people's inboxes with empty fundraising appeals…On the other hand, it's hard to argue with the results. Last year alone, #GivingTuesday pulled in a whopping $46 million in charitable donations…The event has expanded to countries like Singapore, Kenya and New Zealand.

Japan’s Cute Army

The New Yorker | Dec 1, 2015

The militaries of many nations harness mass media and pop culture for promotional purposes… Japan is no different. But what makes their military unusual is that the image being projected isn’t one of might or machismo but of cuteness…this kawaii (cute) imagery is...a testament to the deep ambivalence the Japanese retain about both the history and the changing role of their armed forces.

Leveraging China-Africa Relations Starts With Communication

All Africa | Dec 1, 2015

There are obviously concerns about the impact on Africa through a decrease in commodity exports (and income) to China. Yet such shifts also signal opportunity and perhaps changes in China's approach towards the continent, to include 'softer' issues - like closer public interaction…The 6th iteration of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held this week in Johannesburg, South Africa.

DoD Gets Go-Ahead to Counter Islamic State Messaging

FAS | Nov 30, 2015

“They [Congress] tend to view… efforts to influence civilians outside an area of conflict as Public Diplomacy, the responsibility of the Department of State or Broadcasting Board of Governors.” By contrast, “We [at US Special Operations Command] believe there is a complementary role for the Department of Defense in this space which acknowledges the need for a civilian lead, but allows DOD to pursue appropriate missions, such as counter-recruitment and reducing the flow of foreign fighters,” he wrote.

Around The World, A Focus On Sending Less Food To Landfills

PRI | Nov 30, 2015

Food waste is not only an issue in the United States — roughly one-third of all the food that is produced in the world is never eaten. [...] “I think we have to look at where we are as a global community,” says Stanley. “Our consumer standard is so high that there’s no room for imperfection anymore, and that really drives the overproduction of food and, at the same time, conversely, a lack of value for food.”

Losing The Story In Nepal

The Hindu | Nov 30, 2015

In the past two months, India must conclude, sadly, that its story on Nepal is not winning and its soft power is being eroded on a daily basis. This weekend’s events, with the temporary detention of 13 Seema Sashastra Bal personnel by Nepal’s Armed Police Force personnel and the Nepal government’s decision to take Indian channels off air, only drive the point home that Nepal is rejecting India’s power, both hard and soft.

An Economic Superpower Filled With Contradictions

Independent Online Beta | Nov 30, 2015

 This is reflected in China’s active global public diplomacy drive [...] which started in the mid-2000s. This aspect of people-centred relations has also featured as an element in official Focac documentation. China’s current engagement in South Africa has expanded to include the subset cultural diplomacy, a term described by the US State department as the ‘linchpin of public diplomacy’ that reveals the soul of a nation.

Reform and Adult Supervision for Broadcasting Board of Governors

Digital Journal | Nov 30, 2015

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate should pass the bipartisan H.R. 2323 Royce-Engel U.S. international broadcasting reform bill to eliminate waste and improve response to ISIS and Putin propaganda. [...] Because international broadcasting, public diplomacy, foreign policy, and counter-propaganda are simply too big, too complex, charged with too many different missions, and politically too sensitive to be managed centrally by a single government agency or a single CEO. 


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