The public scolding took place right after the long Labor Day weekend, perhaps not to spoil anyone's vacation. Setting atop the office desks of those who manage the U.S. government's Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN) when they returned to work was a terse report on their failings. It was not that their charges, America’s Arabic-language Radio Sawa and TV Alhurra, were putting out inferior broadcasts. Rather, the folks in charge of those broadcasts were not running things like good bureaucrats. What exactly does that mean?
To be or not to be -- A 'Re-Jiggered' U.S. Information Agency
That is the question, or one of them anyway, as to how America's public diplomacy efforts may be ratcheted back up to speed.
It's mid-year report card time!
Sadly, there are some failing "F" grades thus far this year for international media, but others show improvement.
Too bad for President George W. Bush that political public opinion surveys are not conducted at U.S. football games.
Technology is running amok, trampling public diplomacy efforts for almost everyone.
Because of its misuse by most, Satellite TV technology is worsening, rather than aiding efforts to communicate with publics abroad. The ease by which TV satellites can be accessed to distribute signals to practically anywhere, has caused professional communicators to become lazy, and to run their efforts on autopilot.
The trashing of public diplomacy is not really the fault of technology. It is the fault of those who abuse the tool, and who are dazzled to distraction by it.