Friday, April 11, 2014

April 9 Public Diplomacy Review

“The Tourism Minister of Crimea announced that foreign tourists can visit the country this year without a visa. And just when you thought visiting Crimea couldn’t get any more enticing – no visas!”

--Talk show host Seth Meyers; cited in email from Bulletin Intelligence, LLC; image from


The Purduette Engineering Song sung to "Don't Know Much About Geography" - Michael Zoltowski, cited at. Purduette image from its homepage


US initiative for 50,000 African leaders detailed at CCLP [USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy] forum - Adam Powell, "50,000 young African leaders have responded to a new Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

'The YALI program was the focus of Monday's CCLP lunch forum here, featuring the people who will be managing the program. 500 of the leaders will be told next week that have been selected to come to Washington this summer, according to Joyce Warner, Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of IREX, which is managing the program. The 500 will represent every sub-Saharan country. 100 of them will remain in the U.S. for two additional months of internships and mentoring, Warner added. And in addition to the 500 coming to the U.S., another 220 alternates were selected. That means the vast majority of applicants were not chosen, but their interest will not go unrecognized. '49,013 people will find out next week they were not selected,' said Britta Bjornlund of the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Program. But for all who applied, there will be programs created in their home countries. ... Katherine Brown, Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy also spoke, describing a public meeting her agency held on the YALI last month. She invited participants to see the report and transcript her agency has posted online. ... Monday's CCLP Washington Communication Leadership forum was part of a monthly series of First Monday lunch forums presented in partnership with the Public Diplomacy Council. Upcoming forum speakers and topics are here. Image from, from article, which states: Full of wine wank words, Yali, from wine conglomerate (wishitwas Cono Sur) Viña Ventisquero, tagline “A Step Beyond” displays a love of the “World” that draws suspicion of organic consumer manipulation.

"Russification" of "Soft Power" -- Part 2: The Russian Twist and Ukraine - Yelena Osipova, Global Chaos: "Effectively, Russia has been attempting to copy what the US and the EU have been doing through their democracy-promotion programs, simply replacing 'democracy'

with a set of other values and interests that are more in line with the Russian worldview. And Rossotrudnichestvo is the organization put in charge of this mission." Image from entry, with caption: Pro-Russian demonstration in Crimea, February 2014.

Networking and Job Hunting - Molly Bettie, Public Diplomacy and Student Exchanges: "Possibly the first study of the Fulbright Program to be conducted by someone who isn't affiliated with it in any way...: I'm so looking forward to my next job and meeting new friends and colleagues. The job hunt is daunting, but I'm irrationally optimistic. I've been hearing horror stories about 140 applicants for 1 post, and other frightening statistics, but for whatever reason I have faith that the right job will come up at the right time. I've been rejected for 3 post-docs and a research assistantship, I'm waiting to hear back about a lectureship, and I'm working on another research assistantship application now. I went to a career centre workshop on applying for academic jobs, and it boosted my confidence a bit. There weren't any surprises and I felt more prepared and switched on than a lot of the people in the room. And after all, you don't have to be perfect you just have to be better than the other 139 applicants.


In Switch, Development Agency Welcomes Business and Technology to Poverty Fight - New York Times: Rather than pouring billions of public dollars into programs to fight poverty, the agency is increasingly using loan guarantees to get local banks to finance big projects, giving its money directly to foreign development groups and embracing projects like the “Cuban Twitter” account, which deliberately hid American involvement and shut down in failure in 2012. The Cuban social media project, which started in 2008, nearly two years before he arrived, was similar to U.S.A.I.D. programs, he said, which help nonprofit groups monitor elections using text messages in Senegal and Kenya.

“It’s part of our mandate to support civil society groups with modern communications and access to the Internet,” Dr. Shah said in an interview. To Dr. Shah’s critics, the Cuban social media project was an unnecessary sideshow — Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, called it “just dumb” — that pales in comparison to bigger objections from American government contractors cut out of millions of dollars of work who say Dr. Shah’s changes are opening up the agency to potential waste and fraud.
Under Dr. Shah, the amount awarded to big contractors for work in other countries has fallen by $400 million, from $9.6 billion in 2010 to $9.2 billion in 2013. In the same time period, the agency nearly doubled the amount it awarded to local groups, from $919 million in 2010 to $1.6 billion in 2013 — or about 18 percent of total spending for work in other countries. The agency hopes to increase that amount even further, to 30 percent. Image from

Russian media stir memories of Soviet era in propaganda war  - Kathrin Hille, Financial Times: Since the Ukraine crisis emerged in November, with demonstrators in Kiev rising up against their government’s abrupt abandonment of an association pact with the EU, Russia has resorted to propaganda to shape the narrative and influence events to a degree critics say has not been seen since Soviet days.

Defence Minister: Finnbay "probably not systematic Russian propaganda" - Finland’s Defence Minister Carl Haglund has said that he does not believe the controversial Finnbay website, which hit the headlines this week after the Finnish ambassador in Moscow called it a ‘fake site’ over questionable reporting on Russia, is involved in organised propaganda from Russia.

Propaganda in the guise of art from the BBC News Gaza office - The words ‘Hamas’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘missile attacks on Israeli civilians’ of course have no place in this piece of filmed propaganda.

Neither are viewers made aware of the fact that restrictions on the import of materials to the Gaza Strip are confined solely to dual-use goods which can be used for the purpose of terrorism. Image from entry


From: Soviet Bus Stops - Limited edition photo book by Christopher Herwig; via Facebook friend

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