To be or not to be -- A 'Re-Jiggered' U.S. Information Agency
That is the question, or one of them anyway, as to how America's public diplomacy efforts may be ratcheted back up to speed.
It's mid-year report card time!
Sadly, there are some failing "F" grades thus far this year for international media, but others show improvement.
Too bad for President George W. Bush that political public opinion surveys are not conducted at U.S. football games.
Technology is running amok, trampling public diplomacy efforts for almost everyone.
Because of its misuse by most, Satellite TV technology is worsening, rather than aiding efforts to communicate with publics abroad. The ease by which TV satellites can be accessed to distribute signals to practically anywhere, has caused professional communicators to become lazy, and to run their efforts on autopilot.
The trashing of public diplomacy is not really the fault of technology. It is the fault of those who abuse the tool, and who are dazzled to distraction by it.
Editor's Note: Research Associate Reza Aslan, a scholar of religions and the author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam (Random House), recently published in paperback, submits this examination of a public diplomacy challenge for the United States and its image in Iran and surrounding Muslim countries. Aslan offers that current U.S. policy considerations may provide an untenable challenge for public diplomacy practitioners.
According to the Reuters news agency, "Cuba today started 24-hour jamming in Havana of Radio Marti, the United States' Spanish-language station transmitted from Miami, and said it would extend the jamming to the whole island."
That was back in May 1990.