international broadcasting

It's unfortunate that President Ronald Reagan's global interactive TV Network, Worldnet, no longer exists as it did two decades ago when he stood at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and dared Soviet leader Gorbachev to "tear down this wall".

It may be peculiar to comment on one’s own blog. But, having just provided a post on possible directions for Obama’s international broadcasting and public diplomacy strategy, I realized I had missed the elephant (or donkey) in the room.

Can two late thinkers, a French philosopher and British media scholar, point the way to a new American public diplomacy— or at least an American international broadcasting strategy— for the Obama era?

Let’s start with two unarguable points. The very election of Barack Obama shifts the world of public diplomacy and automatically alters the dynamic of U.S. messaging abroad. As Timothy Garton Ash put it in the Guardian, “Obama is himself a weapon of mass attraction.”

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