Before she douses any flames, she should douse any misinformation about US international broadcasting.

Posted: 29 Mar 2009   Print   Send a link
"As the latest speaker in the University of Delaware's series 'Global Agenda 2009,' Dana Shell Smith spoke to a full house in Mitchell Hall Wednesday, March 25, about public diplomacy and the new role she will assume as the media liaison for the U.S. State Department. Her presentation was entitled 'Dousing the flames: Public diplomacy in action.' ... Fluent in Arabic, Shell Smith will be one of the select few U.S. officials who will appear regularly on Arab television, radio and regional newspapers to present the U.S. point of view on key Middle East issues. ... She ... played a clip of Radio Sawa, an Arabic radio station in the Middle East, where J-Lo's single 'I'm Real' was immediately followed by a question from a caller in Cairo, Egypt, wanting to know why the U.S. is fighting a war against Islam. ... Shell Smith said she will use several outreach tools to communicate with the public overseas in order to address these and other serious political issues. These tools include the U.S. government owned and operated television station Al Hurra, Radio Sawa and the newly created Web site America.gov.'" UDaily, 27 March 2009. I hope that Shell Smith has been sufficiently briefed to know that Radio Sawa and Alhurra are not State Department public diplomacy "tools," but autonomous news organizations under a separate entity, the Broadcasting Board of Governors. The Secretary of State has one seat on the BBG, but is not its CEO.