television diplomacy

As President Obama welcomes Chinese president Hu Jintao for a state visit, Americans should get ready for a Chinese ad blitz on TV. The spots -- with images of ordinary Chinese citizens juxtaposed with celebrities like the NBA's Yao Ming -- are aimed at improving China's image in the U.S. Will it work? Marketplace's Scott Tong takes a look.

Featuring 61 languages, CIBN will be a convergence of a website, online broadcaster, network television and mobile service terminal. It's set to become a new state-level broadcasting organization that caters to audiences from all over the world, thanks to the rapid development of the Internet and mobile communication technology.

Katie Couric's recent comments recommending a Muslim Cosby show to combat anti-Muslim bigotry has been decried by some as a naïve, simplistic remedy for the festering sore of Islamophobia in America. However...authentic and accessible American Muslim narratives can emerge as popular, effective tools of cultural diplomacy in helping bridge the divides between Muslim Communities and the U.S.

Turkish soap operas have conquered the Balkans reversing Turkey's negative image with the Balkan nations from the time of the Ottoman yoke, according to Austrian paper Der Standard. Turkey's film industry is not only making money from the showing of its soaps in Balkan countries... but it is also helping out the Turkish diplomacy, the newspaper says in an article entitled "Ottoman Television Runs Like Clockwork."

January 3, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Last month, NBC announced it had bought the Voice of America, as we noted at the time. NBC planned to use the name for a weekly musical series that will premiere on the network in a few months to compete with "American Idol."

A new television cop show has hit the airwaves in Afghanistan. Called Eagle Four, it tracks the fictional adventures of an elite police unit that chases terrorists, kidnappers and smugglers in the midst of a war zone. Loosely inspired by American TV thrillers such as 24, the show has plenty of cartoonish action, but the people behind it, including financial support from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, are hoping it also conveys a message.

They break up child suicide-bomber rings, take down drug lords and government ministers (even when they are the same thing) and kick in doors to rescue kidnapped diplomats — all with little or no help from the Americans and NATO.

They are the fictional police unit of "Eagle Four," the first of several television shows funded by the U.S. government as part of a strategy to galvanize Afghans behind their security forces. The show's first episodes debuted in recent weeks on Tolo TV, one of Afghanistan's largest stations.