Conference of the public diplomacy bloggers.

Posted: 21 Sep 2008   Print   Send a link
James Glassman, under secretary of State for public diplomacy, convened a teleconference of bloggers to discuss U.S. public diplomacy and especially the State Department competition inviting people around the world to create three-minute videos completing the phrase "Democracy is... ." Participating were Behruz Nikzat of parsloop.com, Patricia Kushlis from Whirledview, John Brown of his revived Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review, Alex Belida of the VOA News Blog, Sharon Weinberger and Noah Shachtman of Wired Danger Room, Matt Armstrong of MountainRunner, Steve Corman of COMOPS Journal, and Melinda Brouwer of World Public Opinion.org. "Weinberger: You know, what happens if after the video -- the democratic video, someone submits a video supporting, you know, an end of a Jewish state and you know, secular free rights, voting rights for all. I mean, you know, what happens when you get to the advocates of democracy or forms of democracy that fly in the face of U.S. policy, and how does that fit into public diplomacy? ... Glassman: We are doing something that is somewhat risky for a government agency because we’re not picking the winner. We absolutely are not involved in that process. And you know, you could end up with a winner who’s – that is promoting a specific policy that may be antithetical to what the United States Government is promoting, you know, let’s say, in Iraq or in – or as it relates to Palestinians and Israelis. I believe there is a – I think there’s a strict prohibition on terrorist – terrorist videos or violent extremist videos." State Department, 17 September 2008.
     All the important bloggers covering public diplomacy were there. I, of course, was not invited. Didn't even know about it until it popped up in a Google search. Probably just as well, as I don't really think of myself as a "blogger." And I'm planning to remove "public diplomacy" from the title of this website. Other bloggers (such as the aforementioned) do a better and more thorough job of covering the subject. Furthermore, it is my position that if a nation's international broadcasting is to be successful, it must be credible. And to be credible it must be separate from a nation's public diplomacy. And maybe that's why I am not invited to public diplomacy events.