Digital diplomacy involves more than simply social media, argues Shaun Riordan.
Conventional news organizations follow a simple protocol in pursuing this week’s WikiLeaks dump of alleged CIA documents about tools to hack into computers, smartphones and the like. Just open up the documents, read them, consult with experts and perhaps write up an article or two. That process doesn’t proceed quite as smoothly at the Voice of America (VOA), the government-funded news outlet that launched in 1942 “to combat Nazi propaganda with accurate and unbiased news and information.”
The author and diplomat answers questions on the leaked embassy cables and the future of public diplomacy.
Journalist Mary Thompson-Jones discussed what the leaked embassy cables revealed about PD.
While the days of its worst behavior are long behind it, the United States does have a well-documented history of interfering and sometimes interrupting the workings of democracies elsewhere. It has occupied and intervened militarily in a whole swath of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and fomented coups against democratically elected populists.
The strange saga of Trump, Clinton, WikiLeaks and Russia...
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.