television diplomacy

Pakistan's newest TV game show, Alif, Laam, Meem, the Islamic version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire...has become one of Pakistan's most popular shows. The show's emergence, and its burgeoning popularity, mirrors the broader direction of Pakistan...where religion is increasingly dominating all areas of life. Geo TV says the show's aim is to "impart knowledge of religion in its entirety".

A... historical soap opera based on the life of... Suleiman the Magnificent, it’s just one of more than 100 shows produced last year by Turkey’s booming TV-drama industry. The programs are becoming a wildly popular cultural phenomenon across the Middle East, bringing in their wake a renaissance in Turkey’s soft power and ushering in a low-key social revolution among the housewives of the Arab world.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera has not gained distribution on any major cable or satellite systems in the United States. On Monday, the channel will be carried in New York City for the first time, though only by subletting space from a channel is finding out that cable and satellite distributors wield an enormous amount of control over the channels that viewers in the United States can and cannot see.

What better way to build bridges across borders than with some light entertainment and gripping love affairs? The soaps and serials that are being scheduled into primetime viewing slots region-wide are creating a desire for cultural exchange, a sort of knowing me, knowing you effect. The frenzy caused by the popularity of Turkish soaps is capturing the imaginations of its viewers.

The popularity of Turkish television series, from the Balkans to the Middle East, has brought Turkey to an international audience, and is subtly transforming the image of the country abroad.

TV 25 is one of 16 new channels launched since Mubarak's fall. Several new radio stations and newspapers have also taken advantage of the eased security restrictions governing new media licenses.TV 25 reports live out of Tahrir Square daily, often taking viewers inside protesters' tents. Social media — which many credit for helping to launch Egypt's revolution - is a major part of their programming.

The ABC's chief, Mark Scott, has risked scuttling the broadcaster's bid for Australia's $223 million overseas television service...Australia Network is broadcast in Asia and the Pacific region, targeting a middle-class audience in 44 countries as part of an effort to promote Australia.

The Australia Network is the Government's primary vehicle for public diplomacy: its means of engaging with foreign publics, of providing reliable news in information-starved regions, of communicating with Australians living and traveling overseas, and of projecting Australia's culture, ideals, values and expertise to the region.