Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
An anchor on Russia Today America, the American outlet of Russia’s international broadcasting arm, resigned on camera yesterday. Maybe not the best public diplomacy optics for Russia. (This is primed for backlash: Why did you get a job at RT in the first place?)
Wahl, for her part, says that while the Kremlin influence over RT isn’t always overt, that journalists there understand what they have to do to succeed and fall into line accordingly. “I think management is able to manipulate the very young and naïve employees,” she says. “They will find ways to punish you covertly and reward those that do go along with their narrative.” “It’s interesting that our motto is ‘Question More,’” she says of the RT slogan. (It once adorned posters showing President Obama morphing into former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with the words, “Who poses the greater nuclear threat?”) “In order to succeed there you don’t question,” she adds. “In a way you kind of suppress any concerns that you have and play the game.” [Daily Beast]
You can watch the video here:
RT statement on Liz Wahl resignation calls it “nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.”
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) March 6, 2014
Love all the @RT_com defections. For years, RT people have told me privately how embarrassed they are to work there.
— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) March 6, 2014
Never before has the #American public heard about #internationalbroadcasting or #RussiaToday on such a massive scale. #publicdiplomacy #win?
— Naomi Leight-Give’on (@NomiLite) March 6, 2014
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy posted a 40-minute video on the role of cultural diplomacy in Ukraine’s revolution.
Not sure how to promote this internationally due to implications of cultural incongruences, but the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Awards is an excellent initiative. See the 2014 winners here.
Yes, State Department, yes.
“The world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote, ‘The formula ‘two plus two equals five’ is not without its attractions,’” reads a State Department fact sheet. The release goes on to dispel the Russian government’s claims that Kiev is trying to destabilize Crimea, endanger Russian-speaking citizens, and undermine Russian bases among other things. [Foreign Policy]
Russian Soft Power pic.twitter.com/Cw9hBoyDE0
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 6, 2014
Fascinating article on how U.S. ambassadors greatly influence the Chinese public, but completely fail at teaching Americans about China.
I am teaching a U.S.-China relations course this semester. When students and I discussed the bilateral relationship during the Chinese Civil War, the topic of John Leighton Stuart, the U.S. ambassador to China at the time, was raised. To my surprise, none of my American students had ever heard of him, but Stuart is very famous in China even among today’s young Chinese. During this course, we also talked about the current U.S. ambassador, Gary Locke. Unlike Stuart, my American students are familiar with Locke, but they were unaware of his behavior and the controversies regarding his ambassadorship in China. This produces two interesting topics for discussion: how U.S. ambassadors can influence China and why Americans know so little about the actions of their representatives in other countries. [The Diplomat]
I missed this from a few days ago! Amen, Under Secretary.
Paraphrasing @Stengel on @Morning_Joe: If you want your policies to fly, you have to involve your #PublicDiplomacy experts in policymaking
— James Barbour (@jamesbarbour) February 28, 2014
I was going to be super snarky about yet another article on China’s panda diplomacy, but this explainer is one of the best I have read.
Considering these factors, the question is why engage in panda diplomacy at all? For China, the answer is quite clear. First, it can position itself as a kind friend who is generous enough to share two of its most precious “national treasures.” This generosity becomes even more pronounced in the case of Belgium, where serious debates between rivaling Dutch and French speaking communities emerged, as did the question of which Belgian zoo had the right to host the pandas. Some Dutch speakers were angry that they would be going to a zoo in the French-speaking part of the country. From the Chinese point of view, what more could you wish for than having foreigners quarrel with each other over the right to host Chinese pandas? [CPD Blog]
Remarks and video from NATO ‘s #PublicDiplomacy Forum http://t.co/hcSsTalB1f — IPDGC (@IPDGC) March 5, 2014
Nothing revelatory about food diplomacy here, but interesting that U.S. embassies are focusing on bring young, successful people to foreign countries to… show them off?
The chef arrived in the Philippines on the last week of February as part of a cultural diplomacy program of the US Embassy. According to Tina Malone, counselor for Public Affairs for the US Embassy, “It’s a program we run here in the Embassy where we bring Americans who are doing interesting things. The particular program that [Grant Gordon] is selected under is one that looks for younger Americans who have made their mark. They are especially selected for their achievements at a young age.” [Business World Online]
18th Cent. #Russian #PublicDiplomacy! “Lecture: Catherine the Great as Portrayed by British Artists During Her Reign” http://t.co/Xx294RjuxK — Lena O (@LenaOsipova) March 5, 2014
We’ve seen this between Pakistan and India, but attempting to build a relationship with the Taliban via cricket is definitely novel. (I love, love, love the second paragraph of this piece.)
Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan recently suggested that his government could host a cricket match with Taliban militants to revive stalled peace talks between the two sides. Khan, who made the offer after playing an exhibition match in which he bowled two overs and scored 28 runs, was positive that cricket could be a platform for reconciliation. Given ongoing hostilities between Pakistan’s security forces and the Taliban, the minister’s idea certainly confirms his penchant for googlies. [Times of India]
FIFA legalizes Turbans, Yarmulkes for #WorldCup2014, bans undershirt messages -> http://t.co/KKhICZnwEh pic.twitter.com/KEoalVFN4Y
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) March 5, 2014