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The critical success factor for any government's public diplomacy function is whether its connection to policy making is one-way or two-way.

Delivered with equal measure of art and science, diplomacy is a
non-violent approach to the management of international relations and
global issues which seeks to resolve conflict through discussion,
negotiation and partnership. The diplomats' brief is unambiguous: to
advance or defend their country's political and economic place in the
world by the most effective means. That is the purpose, the essence of

"[T]hrough the press section of USIS that the Communist parties themselves represented at the Moscow Congress have come to know one of the most serious and dramatic documents in the Communist literature of the world."

--Pietro Nenni, Secretary General, Italian Socialist Party, 1957

This week workers at the Brooklyn Bridge chanced upon a forgotten room
containing supplies stockpiled against a nuclear attack. Dates on the
materials were evocative: 1957 - the year of Sputnik; 1962 - the year
of the Cuban missile crisis. This discovery is an oddly evocative
interruption from the high point last long war into what future
historians will doubtless see as the opening phase of the era-defining
conflict. It is like a ghost in a Shakespeare play -- reminding us of

In the classic 1957 film "The Incredible Shrinking Man," the character played by actor Grant Williams is enveloped by curious fog while anchored on his small boat. Within days, his clothes begin to loosen and he gets smaller by the hour. "I was continuing to shrink, to become…what? Would others follow me?" he wondered.

Yes, others would follow. The Voice of America would follow.

An estimated 28.8 million bloggers publish on the Internet, while by comparison there are only a paltry 2,500 U.S. daily and Sunday newspapers published. As blogging grows and matures, it needs to confront an ethical issue, as its senior ink-to-paper colleagues have, where free trips and other gratuities are offered by those who would likely expect a return on their investment.

The flight purser came back to where Fred Friendly was seated to tell him that his friend Edward R. Murrow had died an hour earlier. The plane had just cleared the Irish coast on a flight from London to New York, and the news about Murrow had been radioed from Shannon control with instructions to tell Friendly. It was April 27, 1965.

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.



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