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The Daily: Missed BBG Opportunity in Ukraine?

The Daily: Missed BBG Opportunity in Ukraine?

March 25, 2014 6:38 am by: Category: The Daily Leave a comment A+ / A-

Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.

Interesting look at how the State Department’s response to the events in Ukraine lacks increased support for the BBG’s outlets in the region.

Voice of America, with the exception of its Ukrainian Service, and to some degree the Russian Service which has an uneven record, has done practically nothing at the senior level in response to the crisis until very recently. VOA is still far behind in news coverage not only against such giants as BBC and Putin’s RT, but also in comparison to Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW), which offers quick news and excellent news analysis not only from the regions but also from Washington, and even Voice of Russia, which offers incredibly crude propaganda but at the same time posts news from Washington far faster than VOA English and VOA language services. For months, VOA executives have failed to beef up the central newsroom and VOA’s Russian and Ukrainian Services in response to the developing crisis in Ukraine. During the Polish crisis in 1981, USIA and VOA executives provided RFE/RL, VOA’s Polish and Russian services, as well as VOA central newsroom, with additional staff and funding almost overnight. Some programs were also expanded, in the case of VOA Polish Service, five times, also almost overnight. The move was strongly supported by the Reagan White House with more additional funding for a number of years. [BBG Watch]



NPR digs on a gastrodiplomacy class at American University with an interview of friend-of-the-site Sam Chapple-Sokol.

It’s often said that the closest interaction many Americans have with other countries’ cultures is through food. That kind of culinary diplomacy is particularly common in Washington, D.C., where immigrants from all over the world have cooked up a diverse food scene. Now one scholar-in-residence at American University is using the city’s food culture to teach her students about global affairs via a course on “gastrodiplomacy” — using food as a tool to foster cultural understanding among countries. [NPR]


While we are at it: here is a profile of Pati Jinich, the woman helping redefine Mexican food away from the fast food staples for which it has become renown.

Mexican food has suffered an image problem. When people say they want Mexican food they think fajitas, or hard shell tacos, or chile con queso. These “Tex Mex” fast food interpretations discredit a cuisine that has arose from ancient civilizations that pre-date the arrival of the Spaniards. And that is precisely why we need someone like Pati Jinich, the Latin American policy-researcher-turned-chef who is transforming our view of Mexican cuisine. Her exploration of her own culinary heritage in Mexico is part of a growing field of public diplomacy – gastrodiplomacy. [Voxxi]



Here is a deeper read into the striking diplomats of Israel and the public diplomacy repercussions on the horizon.

The unprecedented decision to strike by the Foreign Ministry workers committee, including all its 103 embassies and delegations abroad, should serve as a wake-up call to the prime minister and foreign minister. Both of them must come to the aid of the diplomatic corps and bring about a speedy end to this crisis. Precisely Netanyahu and Liberman, who are on the front lines of the diplomatic process and aware of Israel’s inferiority to Palestinian public diplomacy, should have known better. They should have shown more sensitivity to the distress of the Foreign Service workers who are their partners on this front. [Al Monitor]


Most intriguing aspect of this tweet: linking to Al-Jazeera as the new source.


First Lady Michelle Obama defended freedom of expression as a universal right in a speech she gave to students at Peking University. (Slight hypocrisy alert as she did not allow reporters to join her on the trip.)

In a speech to Peking University students yesterday, US first lady Michelle Obama defended freedom of expression and other “universal rights” - sensitive concepts that mainland university professors were banned from teaching a year ago. The remarks - the closest the first lady has so far come to discussing politics during her China visit - came during an otherwise soft speech in which she encouraged students to study abroad and cited her own success as a testament to hard work. [SCMP]


On World Tuberculosis Day, Tara Ornstein writes about the public diplomacy of the Treatment Action Group.

Although challenges were encountered in this campaign, it is one example of how communities affected by the global TB epidemic have successfully used public diplomacy techniques to obtain life-saving medicines. It also demonstrates the value of taking the time to build partnership with an array of different agencies or organizations. In their widely read article on the three layers of public diplomacy, Geoffrey Cowen and Amelia Arsenault asserted that “…initiatives that feature cross-national participation in a joint venture or project …may be…a more effective public technique” than those typically used. During an interview for this project, Mike Frick, the TB/HIV Project Officer at TAG, confirmed that having multiple groups participate in this campaign was “absolutely essential” to its success. [CPD Blog]



In-depth review of the latest in the Palgrave-Macmillan series on public diplomacy: Religion and Public Diplomacy.

This volume adds depth to the U.S. Department of State’s earnest, if naïve, attempts to more intelligently and effectively integrate religious variables into the overall American diplomatic effort. All ten essays amplify various aspects of engaging religious players and sentiments to further diplomatic goals. Readers interested in the intersection of religious values, leaders, and communities in the general endeavor of communicating or implementing public policy should read this collection. The implications of these essays apply in many cross-cultural settings, both national and transnational, with international communications or public diplomacy. [American Diplomacy]



Former science counselor in the Swiss embassy in Washington, D.C., and CEO of swissnex China writes about the potential of science diplomacy for Switzerland.

In that science diplomacy by definition consists partly of science and partly of diplomacy, recognition of and familiarity with science diplomacy should be fostered among diplomats and scientists who are interested, willing, and talented. Science diplomacy should grow within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs as a main pillar of diplomatic activities. Science issues should be framed for diplomats in such a way that they can easily pick them up and include them in their daily work. Interaction between the science community (members who have an interest in and an understanding for diplomats) and career diplomats will help the scientists realize that diplomacy can serve their research purposes and vice versa. The position does not currently exist in Switzerland, but a “science and diplomacy advisor” could facilitate these types of activities. [Science & Diplomacy]



American University Brooklyn Nets couture Crimea freedom of expression Great Wall Michelle Obama NPR Pati Jinich Peking University Putin Religion and Public Diplomacy RFE/RL Sam Chapple-Sokol strike Treatment Action Group Ukraine World Tuberculosis Day
The Daily: Missed BBG Opportunity in Ukraine? Reviewed by on . Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] Interesting look at how the State D Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day. [divide] Interesting look at how the State D Rating: 0

About Michael Ardaiolo

Michael Ardaiolo is currently a student in Syracuse University's Public Diplomacy Master's Program: M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In addition, he is a recovering record slinger, a Criterion Collection addict, an NBA obsessor, and a struggling student of the Korean language.

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