Under Secretary Richard Stengel "Why We Need to Harden Our Soft Power"

Richard Stengel, U.S Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, makes the case for revamping America's pop culture and for the next generation to use new communication and media platforms to increase people-to-people ties across the world.

A roundup of articles discussing the fate of Voice of America

DARPA Big Data

CPD Blog Contributor Ali Fisher argues that big data can offer big insights for diplomats.

China and at least two Asean members–the Philippines and Vietnam–remain locked in territorial disputes over the South China Sea.  Beijing seeks to allay fears in Asean as it strengthens its economic and military clout in the region. One way to do this, an official said, is for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage in what it calls “e-public diplomacy.”

Every year, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) publishes their World Press Freedom Index, which ranks every country in the world using the following six criteria: pluralism, media independence, environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and infrastructure. This chart lists the ten best and worst places to be a journalist today. The time-lapse maps below tell a more complicated story.

Some Turkish journalists' unions have harshly criticized the beheading of US journalist James Foley, who had been missing since 2012, by the “Islamic State” (IS) on Tuesday and expressed concern for the Turkish citizens who have been held captive by the terrorist organization since June.

Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has ruled the country since 2002, and there has been widespread controversy over press freedom in the country, with many doubting that such a freedom even exists. As a matter of fact, the US-based watchdog Freedom House's “Freedom of the Press 2014” report has downgraded Turkey from the category of “partly free” to “not free” because of what the institution called “the worsening media freedom situation.”

Reprinted from the CPD Blog by Emily Metzgar