Country music explored as a tool of U.S. diplomacy

WASHINGTON – It is well known that Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck toured the world as American Jazz Ambassadors, and American symphony orchestras have played throughout the world. Less well known is the role country music has played and is playing in U.S. public diplomacy. That was the focus of this month's CCLP Communication Leadership Lunch Forum here, presented by David Firestein (pictured right), a China expert and vice president at the East West Institute. "For public diplomacy to be effective," said Firestein, "it has to be organic, personal and emotional." He added that it must be "true to who…

CCTV America fights credibility issues, reaches audiences far beyond the U.S.

WASHINGTON – CCTV America must constantly battle the perception that its funders in Beijing are slanting its news broadcasts, but that may not be the case – or at least it may be an exaggeration. That was the word from Mike Walter, a news anchor at CCTV America, who spoke at Monday's CCLP Communications Leadership Forum here in Washington DC. "We have to work every day to build credibility," he said. "We have to work harder than other networks."…

U.S. international broadcasters work to achieve credibility, and understanding, in the Middle East

WASHINGTON — "Oh are you working for the CIA now?" That is how Samir Nader, State Department correspondent for Radio Sawa described his friends' reaction when he joined the U.S. radio network beamed to the Middle East. But the key to their acceptance, and their large audiences, is that they are the only full-time correspondents covering the White House, Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department in Arabic language broadcasting. So people in Iraq, Syria and neighboring countries can see and hear that they are getting the news direct from Washington. And they can see that Americans disagree — and…

New US student exchange aims to double college-level exchange students to, from Latin America

WASHINGTON – The newest U.S. educational exchange initiative was the focus of this month's CCLP Communications Leadership Forum here. Called "100,000 Strong in the Americas", the public-private partnership will try to nearly double the number of college students going between U.S. and Latin American colleges and universities. Citing what he termed "an East-West bias," Daniel Restrepo, former Special Assistant to President Obama for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said it seems that U.S. study abroad programs focus almost exclusively on Europe….

U.S. Public Diplomacy Advisory Commission considers role beyond the State Department

WASHINGTON – Katherine Brown, Executive Director of the U.S. Public Diplomacy Advisory Commission, speaking at this week's CCLP Communications Leadership Forum here, said she was contemplating expand its review of public diplomacy to include agencies beyond the State Department – notably the Department of Defense. Katherine Brown, Executive Director of the U. S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, and Chris Hensman, Senior Advisor at the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy Brown's statement was in response to a question, the questioner noting that some agencies – especially the Pentagon – have far more resources than State. And the first sentence…

‘Journalism alone’ not enough to combat ISIS media messages

WASHINGTON – The propaganda spread by ISIS is more powerful and sophisticated than Al Qaeda's media messages of just a few years ago. So now, "journalism alone" is not sufficient for the U.S. to combat the Islamic state's media campaign. That was the message from two U.S. international broadcasting executives, Shameem Rassam, Executive Producer of Alhurra Iraq, and Davin Hutchins, Director of Digital Content for the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, at Monday's CCLP Communication Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. Left to right: Shameem Rassam, Davin Hutchins, and Donald Bishop, President of the Public Diplomacy Council. Where Al Qaeda relied on…

Adam Clayton Powell III honored at Africa’s largest journalism conference

Senior fellow Adam Clayton Powell III, who leads CCLP's new initiative on mobile phones as a platform for public service, was named a Highway Africa Fellow at the 2014 Highway Africa Conference at Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies in Grahamstown, South Africa. The 2014 Highway Africa Fellows, left to right: Joe Alfers, Mathatha Tsedu, Cheriff Moumina Sy, CCLP senior fellow Adam Clayton Powell III, Elizabeth Barratt, Jovial Rantao, and Amina Frense. In addition to being the only American to receive the award, Powell also holds the record for attendance; he has presented at 17 of the 18…

CCLP cell phone initiative discussed at Africa conference

GRAHAMSTOWN, South Africa – A CCLP initiative to define minimum capabilities of cell phone handsets for health care, public safety and other public services was a focus of discussion at a forum here at Rhodes University on Sunday. "What a good question!" said Daudi Khamadi Were, Innovation Coordinator at Making All Voices Count, part of Kenya's global Ushahidi group. Were said that cell phone service for illiterate users should be a key issue. "Mobiles need to be voice-enabled for those who cannot type as fast," agreed Bomasanto Ndulovu, Strategic Executive Director for South Africa's capital city, Tshwane (still known as…