Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Russian "propaganda" and the USG public diplomacy response


Many congratulations -- and gratitude -- to the Public Diplomacy Council (of which I am a faithful member) for organizing a luncheon discussion (best free sandwiches in Washington!) on Russia's current propaganda. Excellent reports (1) (2) have appeared on the presentations of the participants.

In the spirit of debate -- and isn't what PD is all about -- allow me to express some reservations about contentions by the distinguished members of the panel cited in the above Russian propaganda discussion:
  • RFE/RL must "aggressively" (how about intelligently, I could not help but wonder) counteract Russian propaganda re Ukraine (RFE/RL interim Director);
  • The USG must "repeat" its message over and over again (State Department functionary);
  • The U.S. must have a "clear message" re the Ukrainian situation (the main "message," it seemed to me, of all three speakers).
To me, quite frankly, the above sounds like imitating Russian state propaganda at its worst: aggressive, repetitive, simplistically (and deceptively) "clear."










3 comments:

Day Blakely Donaldson said...

I agree.

"Never cry wolf."

America would discredit itself to the same degree Russia is doing. Two months of some gains for Russia so far. Their rep for news will suffer for a very long time. Lets not bite and destroy America's ability to be listened to or believed.

Unknown said...

IMO, the US needs to tell the truth, be smart in countering Russian disinformation (of which there is an abundance out there) and have the means to do so. By being smart I means choosing to debunk the lies that resonate the most and selecting the right approach (es) for the audience. That does not mean relying on social media when polls show that the target audience watches Russian language tv.

Unknown said...

IMO, the US needs to tell the truth, be smart in countering Russian disinformation (of which there is an abundance out there) and have the means to do so. By being smart I means choosing to debunk the lies that resonate the most and selecting the right approach (es) for the audience. That does not mean relying on social media when polls show that the target audience watches Russian language tv.