Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
Rodney Sieh, the jailed Liberian journalist, was released yesterday after a three-month imprisonment for reporting on government corruption.
FrontPageAfrica Managing Editor Rodney Sieh says in spite of spending the last three months in prison and going through a whole lot of shocking conditions at the Monrovia Central prison, he remains committed to reporting and robust in protecting the interest of the public regarding accountability, transparency and the issue of corruption in the post-war nation. [Front Page Africa]
You can read our past coverage here.
The topic on Al Jazeera America’s The Stream last night was the U.S.’s use of cultural diplomacy abroad. (If you can find a YouTube video of it, please send it our way!)
Can the government use music and art to build bridges with other countries? Cultural diplomacy is a rising trend in our international outreach efforts, and proponents say that it is a critical component of our global engagement. But critics argue that cultural diplomacy is a wasted investment, and is often undermined by U.S. foreign and national security policy. Has U.S. cultural diplomacy been successful at improving America’s image? Can it be done better? [Al Jazeera America]
It is also worth scrolling through #AJAMStream from 7pm to 9pm last night for more comments.
RT @JonathanHenick: Turkey provides aid 2 US http://t.co/QPGSescbzk And y not? Like us,others use it to advance interests & #publicdiplomacy
— IPDGC (@IPDGC) November 11, 2013
As a public diplomacy graduate student found after working on a social action campaign directed toward Saudi Arabia, small activists groups have an advantage in public diplomacy over large institutions due to nimbleness and agency.
Despite the United State’s commitment to human rights in general and the enfranchisement of women in particular, this form of public diplomacy could never have been produced or distributed by the State Department. Such a campaign could obviously damage formal diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. It is also likely that a large investment of resources into this type of advocacy campaign (as well as the significant regulations that come with investment) would constrict and hinder the project. The success of this video and others like it demonstrates two acute advantages that small groups have over large institutions: nimbleness and agency. Small, individual groups are not bound by government regulations or organizational restrictions and are therefore capable of operating outside the boundaries of traditional public diplomacy actors. [CPD Blog]
Time 4 China to acquire #softpower RT @CRTejada: A call in China for aid to Philippines, but some grudges die hard http://t.co/AycaHBlokL
— Lynette H Ong (@onglynette) November 12, 2013
#Japan announces giving $10 milion grant aid to #Philippines in wake of #TyphoonHaiyan.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) November 12, 2013
United States colleges and universities attracted a record number of international students last year with the University of Southern California leading the way.
The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities grew to a record high last year and USC remained their most popular destination, according to a new study … USC has had the largest number of foreign students for a dozen years in a row. Overall, the number of international students in U.S. institutions increased by about 7% last year to nearly 820,000. The largest group came from China, which sent about 236,000 students, nearly double the number of students from India, the second-largest group. [LA Times]
Thai Consul General,LA appoint 1st Thai Cuisine Ambassador, chef 2 tour US, give food demo #gastrodiplomacy #kelleypd http://t.co/Lye9o1mFRd
— Rose Mekdussadeerom (@keeratiphen) November 12, 2013
A Kazakh social networking site classifies users by their tribal affiliation; will it help preserve traditional networks or foment stereotypes and tribal clashes?
When Kazakhs meet for the first time, two key questions are all it takes to figure each other out: What part of the country are they from? And what horde and tribe are they? The answers immediately establish a person’s roots, history, and allegiances — a holdover of ancient tribal divisions that remain relevant in modern-day Kazakhstan. Now, a new social-networking site is hoping to tap into Kazakhs’ tribal identity by grouping users according to their hordes and tribes. [RFERL via PDiN]
Are government travel advisories effective? Egypt’s 95% drop in incoming tourism over the last few months points to a resounding yes.
Egyptian Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou on Monday said that Egypt had lost 95 percent of its incoming tourism within the past four months, mainly due to advisories issued by several governments against traveling to Egypt. The ministry expects tourism revenue to reach $8.8 billion by the end of the year, compared to $10.5 billion registered at the end of last year, Zaazou said on the sidelines of an economic conference in Cairo … “We managed to talk several European countries into lifting their travel advisories in October,” he said. “And we will work with foreign travel agencies for the return of tourist traffic to Egypt.” [Morocco World News]
Arts professionals, artists, policymakers, entrepreneurs: this is for you!: http://t.co/IpBNOQmf7Q #culturaldiplomacy #InternationalForum
— Phillips Collection (@PhillipsMuseum) November 11, 2013
While the VOA Spanish Service and Radio and TV Marti provided comprehensive reporting, Voice of America English News failed to properly report on President Obama’s meeting with Cuban dissidents in Miami last Friday.
With its short news item that lacked both balance and substance, U.S. taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) presented worldwide English-speaking audiences with an incomplete and at least partially misleading account of President Barack Obama’s statement on U.S. policy toward Cuba by failing to mention his meeting with Cuban dissidents at the same event in Miami on Friday. President Obama met with Ladies in White leader Berta Soler and Sakharov Prize winner Guillermo Fariñas, two Cuban dissidents currently visiting the U.S. [BBG Watch]
Nice article on #nationbranding: “Every country has a unique story to tell” http://t.co/mfYF8ficFq #kelleypd #publicdiplomacy @agencychange
— Jesper Daniek Saman (@jdsaman) November 11, 2013