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."…

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…

US launches new initiatives to combat Russian information "weaponization"

WASHINGTON – New initiatives by U.S. international broadcasting to counter Russian propaganda were the focus of this month's CCLP Washington Communication Leadership forum here yesterday. Jeffrey Trimble, Deputy Director of the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, said the innovations are in response to what he called Russia's "weaponization" of international news and information. Left to right: Jeffrey N. Trimble, Deputy Director of the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau; Alen Mlatisuma, Internet Managing Editor, Voice of America Eurasia Divisision; and William Harrison Courtney, former U.S. ambassador and Executive Director, RAND Business Leaders Forum. One of the new ventures described by Trimble is "Current…

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…

Al Jazeera America anchor: We never hear from Qatar

WASHINGTON — We never hear from Doha. That was the assertion by Joie Chen, Washington anchor for Al Jazeera America at Monday's CCLP Washington Communication Leadership forum. "I have never been to Doha," she said, "and I haven't heard from anyone in Doha." Rejecting criticism that Al Jazeera America is an instrument of the government of Qatar, which funds the new network, Chen said Al Jazeera America should be compared to the BBC or NPR, not to the VOA or Russia Today. "We are not in the public diplomacy business," said Chen. "We are in the journalism business."…

Public TV in South Africa faces questions about budget and mission

JOHANNESBURG – Similarities can be misleading, but at first glance the South African public broadcaster faces many of the same challenges as his or her counterparts in the U.S.. Severely short of money, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) received a government loan of 1.47 billion Rand – about $200 million – in return for a promise to reduce its spending. However, many are skeptical that SABC can resolve its longstanding issues of budget and organizational structure….

Journalists, arts organization leaders explore social media's impact on arts journalism at CCLP forum in Washington, D.C.

The impact of social media and changing audiences were primary concerns of arts journalists and leaders of cultural institutions who gathered at a Communication Leadership Policy Forum at the University of Southern California's Washington, D.C. Center on August 1. "Arts journalism is struggling for its life," said Jaime Bennett of the National Endowment for the Arts. "It's no surprise that journalists are taking to the blogosphere to share their reviews." Organized by senior fellow Adam Clayton Powell III (pictured right) and Tim Page, the USC Annenberg journalism professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning former music critic for The Washington Post, the forum…