new media

Building respectful relationships with the Middle East continues to be important, and while cultural barriers and common misconceptions still exist, social media tools provide great opportunities to create and enhance respectful and long-lasting relationships.

February 23, 2010

Many journalists and commentators have examined and illuminated the role of new media and technology in the on-going protests in Iran. Exposing the electoral fraud perpetrated by Ahmedinejad last year and the violent repression of resultant protests certainly called for the skill of traditional journalists and the new media capabilities of Iranian citizen witnesses and participants.

Through the use of new technology, President Obama has made it clear that when he speaks in Ghana this Saturday, July 11, he intends to move from monologue to dialogue as the U.S. State Department opens up venues for greater public participation in the conversation.

July 3, 2009

Today, a tale about what journalism has become, with implications for all those concerned with the weakening firewall between “news” and “message.”

It’s a tale of two Posts — Washington and Huffington.

A revolution is underway in the news media, one neatly illustrated by how these two competitive news gathering organizations — the Washington Post and Huffington Post — have themselves made news in recent days. And, I’ll warn you, if you don’t already know, it’s the Washington Post that comes out looking bad.

Permit me, if you please, to put on my hat as a former White House staffer and USIA manager to tell you what I read into Judith McHale’s becoming the next Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy.

Ms. McHale brings with her an impressive record as former president of Discovery Communications, and it is true as has been noted that she has no public diplomacy experience. But neither did many of the now-storied USIA directors of yore, who are recalled fondly.

In the last couple of years the U.S. Department of State has stepped boldly into the world of new technology. In his brief tenure as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy James Glassman seemed eager to try all manner of Web 2.0 approaches to engage the global public. Some efforts have been praised, as with the contributions of State Department diplomats to blogs in the Middle East. Others have raised eye-brows, like Deputy Assistant Secretary Coleen Graffy's excursions into the realm of Twitter.