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…

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…

Author urges U.S. public diplomacy to include debates about media content standards

WASHINGTON – What is good for U.S. media businesses but bad for American diplomacy? That is the question posed at today's CCLP Washington forum by Martha Bayles, author of "Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad". Author Martha Bayles with Pubic Diplomacy Council president Don Bishop (left) and CCLP senior fellow Adam Powell (right) Since 1999, she said, U.S. media companies have more than quadrupled their revenue from overseas sales. But more and more, Bayles argued, the content is offensive to foreign audiences — and it misrepresents the United States….

Al Jazeera exec stresses need for high quality, in-depth journalism with USC Annenberg faculty

Ehab Al Shihabi, interim CEO at Al Jazeera America, joined fellows of the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy (CCLP) and other USC Annenberg faculty members on Monday April 28 for a salon-style discussion. The meet-and-greet set the stage for possible collaborations between Al Jazeera America and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. "I just want to say what a privilege it is for us at the Annenberg School to have this chance to just have a brainstorming session," said CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan. "Thank you very much for having us here," said Al Shihabi. "I…

How “Next Generation Public Diplomacy” Will Build US-China Trust: New Report by USC Annenberg and Peking University

The United States and China are more closely connected than ever before, but surveys show that trust between the two countries has declined in the last three years. At a time when global collaborations are crucial for tackling issues like climate change, how can the US and China build trust despite differences in values, politics, and communication styles? The Millenials offer hope: "While majorities of Americans and Chinese see the other country in a negative light, half of those under age 30 have a favorable impression of the other country," states the report just released by the USC Annenberg School…