julian assange

As the diplomatic apparatus of the United States, the State Department is directly involved in putting a friendly face on empire, concealing its underlying mechanics. Every year, more than $1 billion is budgeted for “public diplomacy,” a circumlocutory term for outward-facing propaganda. Public diplomacy explicitly aims to influence journalists and civil society, so that they serve as conduits for State Department messaging.

At least the birthplace of the First Amendment managed to come in one spot ahead of Haiti. Every year, Reporters Without Borders ranks 180 countries in order of how well they safeguard press freedom. This year, the United States suffered a precipitous drop. The latest Press Freedom Index ranked the U.S. 46th.

At the end of November 2010, the world did a diplomatic double-take when WikiLeaks, a not-for-profit media organization released confidential U.S. diplomatic cables.

As for RT itself, we should take it as another chance to poke the U.S. (even more). But what use of it for public diplomacy? Many Americans already take RT for a joke, that is, if they know about or watch it (which many don't). Is it how Russia is trying to get its message out to the English-speaking world?

Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, the Internet and a Russian human rights activist are among a record 241 nominations for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Tuesday that the 2011 field includes 53 organizations and tops last year's 237 nominees.

Welcome to the December/January issue of PDiN Monitor, CPD's electronic review of public diplomacy in the news. This issue focuses on the topic of WikiLeaks: America's Cablegate.

It's a rare day when Ecuador can out-Chávez Hugo Chávez. The Venezuelan president seems to seize every chance to criticize the United States, and he didn't miss a beat by praising the "bravery" of controversial website WikiLeaks – which is releasing a cache of 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables – and calling for the resignation of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.