Almost as soon as a Russian court convicted activist Alexei Navalny of embezzlement, on highly dubious grounds, in July 2013, U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul tweeted his disappointment at the “apparent political motivations in this trial.” Within minutes that comment echoed across Russia’s social media landscape, eventually generating nearly 1,000 retweets and getting picked up by numerous media outlets.

Gary Knell, who has headed NPR for less than two years, is departing to become president of the National Geographic Society...That leaves the nation's flagship public radio syndicate without a chief executive for the second time in two years. Knell's predecessor, Vivian Schiller, was forced to resign in the spring of 2011 after a series of damning allegations about NPR's liberal bias, which she had seemingly fueled with injudicious statements and decisions, including the firing of Juan Williams.

The broadcaster, Voice of America, has been the U.S. government's method of communication with populations abroad since 1942, when the institution broadcast anti-Nazi radio addresses to the German people in their native language... But 70 years after taking on Adolf Hitler and then communism, VOA is plagued with bureaucratic problems, including a bloated budget, redundant programming, and a uninterested board of governors.

Al Jazeera has expanded in both Arabic and English; on TV and online. But now it’s facing financial pressure, and trying to figure out where growth is most likely. On the news side, it’s recently scaled back some operations, like having one anchor in Qatar as opposed to four around the world. But it’s also expanding into the world of sport.

For the first time, international audiences were able to watch the State of the Union Address live on U.S. embassy and consulate websites. Our missions in Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, and Turkey had among the highest views of the webcast, and more than 60 posts amplified the speech on social media platforms, where they engaged their online communities via Facebook and Twitter.

Ensor spent 19 years with ABC News, covering the White House and then the national security beat. In 1999, he joined CNN, and he is currently working for the government in Kabul, Afghanistan, as the U.S. Embassy’s Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy in Kabul.