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It is relatively clear to me where U.S. public diplomacy is headed in 2006. And so there’s really no reason to wait until late December, or New Year’s day, to make predictions about the coming new year.

Therefore, I will submit my predictions now, and take my chances.


Thursday night was a big night for Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language television news channel in the Middle East.

The preemptive lead story was the release of the UN report on the assassination of Rafik Hariri, the former prime minister of Lebanon.

For most news organizations, it was a story worth at best three or four news reports. At Al Jazeera, editors decided this was the only story of the night.

Whoa that’s us in the Washington Post!

Check it out!

Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance

I’ve been trying to come up with a design to test and existing game to see if there are elements within it that would fall under the definition of public diplomacy.

The Bush administration has a new public diplomacy game plan to promote democracy within Iran. The idea is to build public support for democratic reform there and to pressure Iran's new hard line leadership into becoming more enlightened, especially where their nuclear aspirations are concerned.

The State Department's plan includes a Farsi-language television service beamed to Iran. But there are at least two problems with that public information concept.

We’re not the only ones holding a game design competition!

mtvU, a dedicated television network for college students and the Reebok Human Rights Foundation is offering a $50,000 reward to a student or group of student digital activists who create an online video game or viral campaign to raise awareness and help stop genocide.

Check out

Welcome! The purpose of this space: to document my research on the potential of video games in the realm of public diplomacy.  With the rise of “info-tainment”, “edutainment” and political marketing, there has been merge between politics and popular culture. One burgeoning form of popular culture is that of video games. As technology advances and this interactive media becomes more and more sophisticated, the reach and influence of video games is expanding exponentially. Can institutions utilize video games and massively multi-player online games to promote public diplomacy?

While State Department official Karen Hughes was wrapping up her listening tour of the Middle East, an important session of United Nations representatives was taking place in Geneva.

Ms. Hughes, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, was assessing how the United States government might better communicate with Arabs and Muslims abroad. The U.N. meeting was tackling the issue of how much authority the United States ought to have in overseeing world information that would help the United States do so.



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