VOA began radio broadcasting in 1942, to combat Nazi propaganda. Per its charter, it is mandated to “serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news.” Since WWII, it has been the front-edge of America’s informational interface with citizens around the world, particularly those battling dictatorships and tyranny. [...] VOA is the largest public diplomacy program of the United States government and broadcasts in more than 40 languages.
At the embassy level, ambassadors may be viewed as digital gatekeepers. Studies have shown that embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as an important resource are likely to be active online and to utilize digital tools in innovative ways. Conversely, embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as a risk are likely to be inactive online.
Ilan Manor on the historical relationship between diplomacy and technology, and how it can help a world in crisis.
Conan O'Brien, Russia and fake news are featured in this week's roundup
What appears to be a nightly newscast is about to begin, only with a very Ukrainian twist: Everything is a lie, from start to finish. “Welcome to ‘StopFake,’ the place where we set the record straight on fakes about Ukraine,” the anchor, Margo Gontar, intones. In other parts of the world, viewers might suspect the evening news is just a bunch of lies, but watching the weekly broadcast of “StopFake News,” they can be certain of it.
At other times, forged documents and fabricated news items consistent with Russia's strategic objectives have first appeared in obscure Swedish media outlets, which were picked up subsequently by Sputnik and "other sources of Russian public diplomacy" and broadcast to an international audience.
The anonymity of the internet, he added, makes it difficult to distinguish between ordinary people voicing their genuine opinions and state-sponsored trolls. “There is no smoking gun, only lots of smoke,” Mr. de Jong acknowledged.