US public diplomacy online: from usinfo.state.gov to america.gov to ejournalUSA.

Posted: 30 Mar 2011   Print   Send a link
America.gov home page: "America.gov is being decommissioned on March 31, 2011, and will be available only as an archive site. Information on U.S. foreign policy and national interests will be available through U.S. embassy and consulate websites or www.state.gov." See previous post about same subject.

In January 2008, usinfo.state.gov changed its name to america.gov. The Americagov Twitter account is still active, but it lists its URL as www.facebook.com/ejournalUSA.

So the social media seem to be replacing a traditional website for US public diplomacy. Anyone can establish a Facebook to Twitter account. On the other hand, it takes considerable skill to design and maintain a professional-looking website. I think every country should have a public diplomacy gateway to the world. A good example is www.finland.fi. Separately and complementarily, each country should have a news website -- independent, objective, balanced, and all those good journalistic principles -- available in more than one language. An example would be Belgium's flandersnews.be.

State Department Media Note, 30 Mar 2011: "Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) Coordinator Dawn L. McCall announced the expansion of the Bureau’s web presence to more than 20 social media assets in seven languages garnering a following of 1.7 million. The Bureau has also initiated a web-based mobile platform for special events to appeal to small-screen users. IIP, which operates four of the Department’s top-five Facebook sites, uses its social media presence to engage youth audiences on topics of interest. ... Due to the change in strategy, as of March 31, the Bureau will no longer support its website, America.gov. Content the Bureau produces will continue to feed the 450 Embassy websites around the world."