The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

For 20 years I was editor of the Op-Ed page of the Los Angeles Times. I thought I tried to maintain balance on the page, but of course some would disagree that I did so.

Penn Kemble: Public Diplomat, political campaigner and international pro-democracy activist

Cultural and educational exchange programs are effective public diplomacy tools because they enrich both those who go abroad and the societies they visit.

Right?

That good intention may not be the primary motivation behind the au pair childcare program the United States facilitates. This mismanaged program is being exploited and turned into more of a profitable business than cultural experience.

It was bound to happen. The iconic flagship of our voyage into the digital age has run up against the hard realities of state power and international relations. Internet naiveté is giving way to global realpolitik. Now that Google is in a major flap over its deal with the Chinese government to censor itself, what will become of Google’s “foreign policy?” And what, if anything, should the American government do? This case simply foreshadows the complexities of designing “foreign policy” in the digital age.

Al Jazeera held its “2nd Aljazeera Forum” Jan. 31 through Feb. 2 in its headquarter city of Doha, Qatar. The conference was titled “Defending Freedom, Defining Responsibility,” but its goal seemed to be to trash U.S. media and celebrate everything Al Jazeera.

This posting has been moved to the Public Diplomacy Blog.

Worldcasting has obtained exclusive comparative independent television ratings that document a steady decline in Al Jazeera's popularity among viewers in Saudi Arabia over a one-year period. That country is the most important television market in the region; 70 percent of the region's television advertising is spent there.

Did the commander of the U.S. military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) really say those things about the media, and the war in Iraq? If so, why the big secret?

The remarks attributed to General John Abizaid that mysteriously surfaced on the Internet and were sent anonymously to media outlets were said to have been from the General’s recent address at the Naval War College, date unknown.

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