This piece was co-authored by Kathy R. Fitzpatrick.
On Sunday, September 22, 2013, al-Shabab, a Somali-based al Qaeda cell unleashed gunfire on a Kenyan shopping mall, murdering 72 people and injuring over 200 others. The deadliest terrorist attack in Kenya since the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the Kenyan mall shooting temporarily brought Africa to the forefront of U.S. news organizations like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, who typically ignore the continent.
In June of 2013, reports revealed contemplation by the United Kingdom to impose a £3000 (US $4,715.4) bond on visa applicants from some five countries; India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ghana, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. According to the plan, this bond program and the visa applicants from the target countries will participate in a pilot scheme of a broad plan aimed at checking illegal immigration into the UK.
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of State has worked to strengthen and deepen U.S. diplomacy and development around the world through public-private partnerships (PPPs) that leverage creativity and innovation for greater impact. The proactive pursuit of PPPs by the State Department offers tremendous public diplomacy opportunities. To date, the State Department has worked with over 1,100 partners to support key foreign policy objectives.
On August 10, 1878, along the shore of a hazy blue lake in southwestern New York state, a Methodist Bishop and his flock of summer retreat parishioners kicked off a book club with big ambitions. Their four year course of independent reading aimed to raise education levels all across small town and rural America. More than 8,400 people enrolled that first year, returning to their homes to start over 10,000 local “circles” by 1900.
Americans’ attention rarely strays beyond domestic discontents these days, and when it does extend overseas it is most likely to settle on the endless war in Afghanistan or the challenging puzzle that is China.
Facebook is Zimbabwe’s top website. According to Google, Facebook was the most popular web search term among Zimbabweans in 2011, replacing “Zimbabwe,” which led the list in 2010 and 2009. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s (ZBC) Power FM, despite its antiquated broadcasting studios, fills its popular music programming with trendy young DJs enthusiastically pushing listeners to follow them on the social networking site while quoting recent FB comments.
In a world where attention scarcity has displaced access as the new information problematic, how do you get your issue noticed? This is precisely the question that confronted Invisible Children, the international NGO that produced the viral online video “Kony 2012.” Since its release on March 5, it has been nothing short of a sensation: within two days YouTube tallied over 11 million viewings. That number tripled by the following afternoon and presently – four days after release – the number exceeds 52 million.