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Washington, DC - July 28, 2005 - There are several interesting stories behind the recent award ceremony that took place at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the Voice of America.
This was a week when some international broadcasters came of age while others began to show theirs. Winners began to emerge, meaning someone had to lose. Some broadcasters stepped out of the shadows to participate in the big dance. And new startups set out to take on the world's most familiar satellite news channels.
At the BBC, news editors and writers decided to cast away their policy stylebook to do it their own way on the morning of the London bombings and use the word "terrorism" to describe what had happened. But 12 hours later they backed off.
Al-Jazeera-America is coming to town, heading straight for your living room.
Its executives, from their headquarters in the tiny Middle East gulf state of Qatar, have held preliminary talks in the U.S. with cable operators about carrying the channel's new English-language service, expected to debut early next year.
Egyptian-born Dina Habib Powell says America must listen if it wants to be understood abroad. But first she must get people to listen to her.
It's time to reinvent U.S. government international broadcasting - again. But this time, let's get it right and privatize this operation.
What's hot in public diplomacy?
Answer: C-SPAN, but of course.
Answer: Everything else.
An exaggeration, perhaps, but there's no denying that the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network (C-SPAN), which provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress, press briefings, newsmaker speeches, public policy discussions, and much more, is mentioned more than anything else nowadays by those recognized as in the know who are trying to help "fix" America's lagging public diplomacy effort in the Middle East.
So now we are told that Mark Felt may not have been Deep Throat after all.
The watchdog group Accuracy in Media (AIM) quotes a Watergate scandal expert, Joan Huff, a Montana State University history professor, as saying that this is all "an orchestrated publicity stunt on the part of the (Washington) Post" to publicize Bob Woodward's new book.
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