Information at War: A Book Talk With Philip Seib

A war’s outcome is determined by more than bullets and bombs. In our digital age, the proliferation of new media venues has magnified the importance of information—whether its content is true or purposely false—in battling an enemy and defending the public.

On January 25, 2022 CPD hosted noted author, journalist and public diplomacy scholar, Philip Seib (CPD Faculty Fellow), for a conversation on his new book, Information at War: Journalism, Disinformation, and Modern Warfare, which illuminates some of the thorniest issues on the contemporary agenda. Information at war affects us all, and this book shows us how.

Moderating this program was Patricia Riley, CPD Faculty Fellow and USC Annenberg Associate Professor of Communication and Global Communication M.A. Director. Seib and Riley will discuss situations in which untruthful and inflammatory information poisons a nation’s political processes and weakens its social fabric, as well as appropriate responses. How can media literacy help citizens defend against information warfare? And, should militaries place greater emphasis on crippling their adversaries with information rather than through kinetic force?


About Philip Seib

Philip Seib is professor emeritus of journalism and public diplomacy at USC. He served from 2009–2013 as director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and as vice dean of USC Annenberg during 2015–2016. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Headline Diplomacy; Beyond the Front Lines; New Media and the New Middle East; The Al Jazeera Effect; Toward a New Public Diplomacy; Global Terrorism and New Media; Al Jazeera English; Real-Time Diplomacy; The Future of Diplomacy; and, most recently, Information at War: Journalism, Disinformation, and Modern Warfare. Seib was founding editor of a book series on international political communication, is co-editor of a series on global public diplomacy and is a founding co-editor of the journal Media, War & Conflict. He holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. He has extensive professional experience in print and television journalism. In 2016 he was the recipient of the International Studies Association International Communication Book Award.

About Patricia Riley

Patricia Riley is a specialist in organizational communication and is internationally known for her work on institutional politics and organizational culture change. Her most recent research focuses on the role of communication infrastructure in knowledge management processes and on the role of communication and information technologies in organizational change and transformation. Her work has appeared in such books as Organizational Communication and Change, Organizational CultureAdvances in Leadership Research and the Handbook of Organizational Communication, and in journals such as Administrative Science QuarterlyCommunication QuarterlyJournal of Computer-Mediated CommunicationJournal of Management and Argument and Advocacy. Riley teaches undergraduate courses in organizational communication and graduate seminars on power and politics in organizations, organizational culture and organizational communication theory. An expert in research methods, she also teaches graduate seminars in field research methodology and multivariate statistics. In addition, she is an associate member of the USC Leadership Institute, teaches in the executive program in the Marshall School of Business, is an adjunct member of the East Asian Studies Center, and directs both undergraduate and graduate internship programs.


Visit CPD's Online Library

Explore CPD's vast online database featuring the latest books, articles, speeches and information on international organizations dedicated to public diplomacy.