The Arab Spring is the topic of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s latest Media Monitor report. The report looks at the unprecedented revolution in five key nations – Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya and Bahrain – and considers the wide-ranging implications for public diplomacy.
Governments may better appreciate the potential of social media in coming years but it is up to citizens to engage today. Tweet once a day, participate in social media meetings, volunteer to teach and brainstorm ways to benefit your society. Never underestimate the knowledge you have; pass it on.
The cynical take believes that the U.S. has in fact changed its foreign policy as Obama claims and as his responses to the Arab Spring this year suggest, but has made an exception for Bahrain... The Bahraini opposition is largely Shia, but most Arabs (and most Muslims, for that matter) are Sunni. The "soft power" dividends of pushing Bahrain to reform, the U.S. may have decided, just aren't there.
Al Jazeera English has squashed several planned rebroadcasts of “Shouting in the Dark,” an hourlong documentary about Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that abrought complaints from Bahraini authorities. The episode illustrates the thorny issue of independence for Al Jazeera, which is financed by the emir of Qatar and is perceived by some people to be a diplomatic tool of the country.
The mainstream western media has willfully ignored the continued abuses in Bahrain, and al Jazeera...has also been conspicuously silent...Fortunately, courageous activists on the ground have linked up with concerned citizens from around the world to create awareness for ordinary people removed by thousands of miles and blinded by the smokescreen of media obfuscation.
The government says the country, which serves as the base for the United States Fifth Fleet, and was to have held a Formula One motor race which had to be postponed in March when the protests were at their peak, is back to business as usual.Shi'ite residents say that if this is the new normal, tense days lie ahead.
When Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt couldn't reach his counterpart in Bahrain by traditional means of communication, he turned to Twitter...Many politicians and diplomats worldwide have already embraced social media as a tool to communicate with the public...
As protesters take to the streets, the regime is using government-run television to hit back with sectarian propaganda. Bahrain TV blares from most corners of this island Kingdom -- in malls, restaurants, living rooms.