journalism

In one of his last acts as U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens put together a group of Libyan journalists and sent them to the U.S. on a tour of media outlets. A day after receiving news that their friend Stevens was killed by protesters at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, the group of seven Libyan reporters and other media professionals visited this newspaper to exchange ideas about journalism in the U.S.

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the International Visitor Leadership Program hosted a small round-table conversation about public diplomacy and the role of journalism in post-Gaddafi Libya with a group of seven Libyan reporters and media professionals.

I recently returned from the annual Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication conference in Chicago where suddenly everyone’s talking about public diplomacy. Or at least, using the term. It calls to mind a favorite movie quote: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means…”.

We should employ the term purposefully, conscious of its connotations and respecting the real-world limits of its application -- not by staking out our own isolated outposts for the term’s usage, but rather by building bridges between our understanding of the communicative dynamics at play and already-existing insights into the subject of public diplomacy.

“Media freedom is oxygen” for societies, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara D. Sonenshine told a group of international journalists in discussing the campaign. “It’s the moral equivalent of oxygen – it is how a society breathes...”

These days, Soviet-style samizdat is doing the rounds at the Prague headquarters of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty. It is a press release on the letter to Croatian government by Snjezana Pelivan, a Croatian journalist living in Prague.

November 27, 2011

In an age where reputation often seems to be all, where image is carefully managed and soft power of all hues plays an increasingly important role, this was a timely survey....The correspondents’ verdict on the reputation-management capabilities of the VK+O administration was scathingly clear cut: failure.

Xinhua remains a mouthpiece for the Communist Party. Its news stories and commentaries rarely stray from the party line...It doesn’t bode well for China’s efforts abroad that the country remains among the harshest censors of news and most aggressive in harassing journalists, both domestic and foreign.

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