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By Sherry L. Mueller | January 6, 2009
President-elect Barack Obama's intent to help "reboot" America's image in the world is most welcome. But as the U.S. retools its efforts to reach out beyond governments to foreign audiences, not all is what it seems. In recent years, there has been an avalanche of academic studies, government reports and think tank analyses that offer various "fixes" for U.S. public diplomacy. Despite unprecedented attention, however, myths prevail: Myth 1: The main goal of U.S. public diplomacy is to improve America's image in the world.
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NEWS
By Rachel Marsden | May 24, 2012
Did you hear about the new bill that would allow the U.S. government's official overseas information agency to rebroadcast its content onto American TV and radio? The bipartisan Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 was introduced in Congress last week by Reps. Mac Thornberry, a Texas Republican, and Adam Smith, a Washington Democrat, both of whom are presumably dissatisfied with their satellite TV package and think more government-produced content would go down better with an after-work beer.
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NEWS
By William A. Rugh | July 31, 2007
Karen Hughes has been unfairly criticized. Yes, she is the most senior official in the Bush administration responsible for working to improve America's image around the world - and that image is in trouble, as polls abroad show. It is therefore not surprising that many people have blamed Ms. Hughes, the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department since 2005, for failing to correct this problem. But that judgment ignores several important facts. First, the undersecretary of state does not control the half of the traditional public diplomacy budget that goes for broadcasting (it is under an independent board)
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen | March 1, 2010
Louise B. McKnew, a lawyer who was a champion of spinal cord injury patients and founder of the National Research Institute for Neural Injury, died Tuesday from complications of pneumonia at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. The Pasadena resident was 71. Louise Bouscaren was born in Greenwich, Conn., and raised in Baltimore and Ruxton. She was a 1956 graduate of Garrison Forest School and attended Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., until she left to get married. After raising her family, Mrs. McKnew returned to college and earned a bachelor's degree in 1975 from American University.
NEWS
By Jill A. Schuker | March 28, 2005
WASHINGTON - Karen Hughes, the influential senior adviser to President Bush who often is cited as his alter-ego, is poised to assume the position of undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, vacant for much of the administration's first term and ignored the rest of the time. This is a tremendous opportunity to integrate public diplomacy fully into policy-making rather than mere 11th-hour attempts at damage control. Mrs. Hughes' new responsibility in strengthening America's voice abroad requires an ear attuned to anticipating cultural differences by listening as well as educating outside of the strictures of formal diplomatic channels and government-to-government contacts.
NEWS
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Julie Hirschfeld Davis,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | March 15, 2005
WASHINGTON - When President Bush needs help honing a policy, dealing with a crisis or trumpeting an important message, he has long turned to Karen P. Hughes. So with the United States suffering lingering image problems abroad - particularly in Arab countries - and the president determined to show the world that his efforts to spread freedom are paying dividends, Bush chose Hughes, a loyal adviser and confidante since his early days in Texas politics, to burnish America's reputation. The pick, announced yesterday by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, signals Bush's desire to demonstrate a new, heightened commitment to improving the United States' global image and its communication with the rest of the world.
NEWS
By Robert Satloff | March 9, 2003
THE RESIGNATION of Charlotte Beers as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy offers an opportunity to redirect U.S. outreach to foreign audiences away from ill-considered, feel-good therapy toward practical programs that advance our policy goals and build long-term friendships. This is a particularly urgent task given the deepening isolation in which the United States finds itself, especially among longtime allies. For nations liberated by America in our parents' lifetime to tell pollsters they believe that the president of the United States is a greater danger to world peace than the tyrant of Baghdad or that Americans have somehow sacrificed their moral compass while waging the war on terror bespeaks a thundering failure to deliver the message of our policies abroad.
NEWS
By Jill Schuker and Tara Sonenshine | July 20, 2005
WASHINGTON - After the terrorist bombings in London, bells rang in Trafalgar Square and around the world in memory of the victims. U.S. citizens also paused for a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the shared tragedies of 9/11 and July 7. And at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Detroit, the band played the British national anthem. All were heartfelt expressions of respect. But while bells are tolling for some, they are deafeningly silent for others. Like the 18 innocent Iraqi children who died at the hands of a suicide bomber as they reached for candy in that most simple of all childhood gestures.
NEWS
By Sonni Efron and Sonni Efron,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 1, 2003
WASHINGTON - Diplomatic efforts to improve the image of the United States abroad are "absurdly and dangerously underfunded," and the Cabinet-level position of image czar should be created inside the White House to oversee America's public diplomacy effort, according to a report to be delivered to Congress today. "A process of unilateral disarmament in the weapons of advocacy over the last decade has contributed to widespread hostility toward Americans and left us vulnerable to lethal threats to our interests and our safety," the report says.
NEWS
By Antony J. Blinken | December 11, 2001
WASHINGTON - America's success in Afghanistan will count for little if we lose the global war of ideas. That war has produced a growing gap between how much of the world sees America and how America sees itself. If this gap persists, it will erode American influence. The partners we need to advance our interests will abandon us. The few real enemies we face will find it easier to avoid sanction and make converts among the world's silent majority. In the war of ideas, facts have been losing ground to fiction.
NEWS
By Sherry L. Mueller | January 6, 2009
President-elect Barack Obama's intent to help "reboot" America's image in the world is most welcome. But as the U.S. retools its efforts to reach out beyond governments to foreign audiences, not all is what it seems. In recent years, there has been an avalanche of academic studies, government reports and think tank analyses that offer various "fixes" for U.S. public diplomacy. Despite unprecedented attention, however, myths prevail: Myth 1: The main goal of U.S. public diplomacy is to improve America's image in the world.
SPORTS
By Dan Connolly and Dan Connolly,Sun reporter | July 9, 2008
Cal Ripken Jr.'s personal mission to teach baseball to children around the world will continue next spring, when the Hall of Fame Oriole and other Ripken Baseball representatives visit South Africa. It will be the second time in about 18 months that Ripken will represent the U.S. and baseball in another country. The U.S. State Department and Ripken, who was named an American public diplomacy envoy by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2007, are expected to make the official announcement today.
NEWS
By TRUDY RUBIN | July 31, 2007
PHILADELPHIA -- While the White House has been focusing its foreign policy attention on Iraq, the rest of the world hasn't been standing still. China has been using a new approach to expand its influence and global appeal. This approach is one at which the United States once excelled but now does badly. Call it "soft power," a term coined more than a decade ago by Harvard's Joseph Nye to describe a country's ability to lead by example and get others to follow because they admire what you are. A new book called Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World looks at Beijing's increasing skill at using diplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchanges, and other techniques to build an image of a benign global leader.
NEWS
By William A. Rugh | July 31, 2007
Karen Hughes has been unfairly criticized. Yes, she is the most senior official in the Bush administration responsible for working to improve America's image around the world - and that image is in trouble, as polls abroad show. It is therefore not surprising that many people have blamed Ms. Hughes, the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department since 2005, for failing to correct this problem. But that judgment ignores several important facts. First, the undersecretary of state does not control the half of the traditional public diplomacy budget that goes for broadcasting (it is under an independent board)
NEWS
By JAMES J. ZOGBY | February 28, 2006
WASHINGTON -- There's been a virtual frenzy with senators, congressmen and governors jumping over each other to take the lead in bashing the Dubai port deal, the United Arab Emirates or the Bush administration. It's all being done, critics say, in the name of national security. But, in reality, what is taking place is nothing more than crass political posturing and an irresponsible and ill-informed attack on an Arab country that has been a strong ally of the United States. At its essence, there are three factors that are driving this ruckus: It's an election year, the public has a continued concern about national security and there's an Arab country involved.
NEWS
By RICHARD SOBEL AND DAVID NELSON | January 22, 2006
When the public speaks, the government listens and typically responds, even in times of war. While the American public reputedly lacks the patience and the willingness to bear the costs of war, the history of public attitudes during military conflict reflects differing patterns. When victory eludes the nation, support wanes. When the cause is just and the results are successful, the public can hold the course - also during times of travail. In Iraq, public support was high initially and for more than two years, but in recent months it has dropped below majority levels.
NEWS
By Jill A. Schuker | April 16, 2002
WASHINGTON - There are moments like the present when the world seems to be spinning out of control. All the everyday tragedies we generally abide fade in the enormity of certain events. The post-Cold War period was supposed to cool things down. It seems, however, a different kind of irrationality has taken hold; one that is harder to understand and harder to categorize. Therefore, it is also harder to find solutions. How do we understand the Middle East today, especially after Sept. 11?
NEWS
By RICHARD SOBEL AND DAVID NELSON | January 22, 2006
When the public speaks, the government listens and typically responds, even in times of war. While the American public reputedly lacks the patience and the willingness to bear the costs of war, the history of public attitudes during military conflict reflects differing patterns. When victory eludes the nation, support wanes. When the cause is just and the results are successful, the public can hold the course - also during times of travail. In Iraq, public support was high initially and for more than two years, but in recent months it has dropped below majority levels.
NEWS
October 15, 2005
War overwhelms effort to aid image Although there is nothing wrong with his approach as far as it goes, Sanford J. Ungar's column advocating the international exchange of college students as a way to help people in other countries understand the United States and "help erase the damage done by Ms. [Karen] Hughes and other American supremacists" misses the mark ("Preaching U.S. supremacy won't help image abroad," Opinion Commentary, Oct. 9). What Mr. Ungar misses is the total intractability of a flawed national policy.
NEWS
By Avi M Spiegel | August 21, 2005
JUST WHEN it seemed that American public diplomacy couldn't get any worse, along comes Congress. In an era of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, you might think that the government would be devising ways to ensure that the face of America overseas is not solely that of a soldier. Instead, Congress is now doing the opposite: taking the nation's oldest civilian overseas volunteer organization - the Peace Corps - and sending soldiers its way. The military has officially has begun encouraging its recruits to serve in the Peace Corps, allowing them to count time in one toward service in the other.
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