On February 3, 2009, USIP's Center of Innovation for Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding joined the Independent Television Service (ITVS) to convene Media as Global Diplomat, a day-long conference that brought together many of the top thinkers in U.S. public diplomacy and strategic communication with independent film and media producers to identify innovative paths forward in the increasingly important effort to improve mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through communication and media. An online archive of the event was created to serve as a valuable resource for the day’s events. Users can watch video of the entire day’s proceedings, as well as review supporting materials and other information.

Media as Global Diplomat Online Archive

On February 3, 2009, USIP joined International Television Service (ITVS) to convene Media as Global Diplomat, a day-long conference that brought together many of the top thinkers in U.S. public diplomacy and strategic communication with independent film and media producers to identify innovative paths forward in the increasingly important effort to improve mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through communication and media.

This pages serves as a valuable online archive of the day’s events.  Users can watch video of the entire day’s proceedings, as well as review supporting materials and other information.

Media as Global Diplomat was moderated by veteran newsman Ted Koppel and met at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum, a cutting-edge interactive museum dedicated to news and communication in the 21st Century.

Speakers at the event included Kathy Bushkin Calvin of the United Nations Foundation, Ambassador Edward Djerejian of the Baker Institute, Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera International, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James Glassman, Andrew McLaughlin of Google, James Zogby of the Arab American Institute, Carol Giacomo of The New York Times and others.

From its inception, Media as Global Diplomat was meant to be an inclusive event – inclusive of multiple stakeholders, inclusive of disparate perspectives, and inclusive of audience participation from around the globe.  The organizers met that goal in part by coordinating the participation of nearly two-dozen bloggers around the world who write on international affairs, public diplomacy and other issues.  Many other participants stayed involved by using the popular online technology Twitter.  Together, these blogs and tweets joined the voices of nearly 300 participants at the Newseum to create a robust and diverse conversation.

Latest Publications

After a Year of Turmoil, Bolivia’s Election Offers Chance to Reduce Divides

After a Year of Turmoil, Bolivia’s Election Offers Chance to Reduce Divides

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Steve Hege

Bolivians took part on Sunday in one of the country’s most decisive and historic general elections, in which the former governing party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) and its candidate Luis Arce garnered a resounding victory. The vote culminated nearly 12 months of instability since elections in October 2019 led to allegations of fraud, followed by massive street protests and the departure of former President Evo Morales after nearly 14 years in power. Bolivia has not experienced a peaceful transition of power since 2002, but a window of opportunity has opened for the ethnically diverse Andean nation to emerge from the paralyzing polarization that has plagued it over the past years.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Protests Test Nigeria’s Democracy and its Leadership in Africa

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: Oge Onubogu

Nigeria’s protests against police brutality already were the largest in the country’s history before security forces opened fire on a crowd in Lagos on October 20. The protest and bloodshed have only heightened the need for the government in Africa’s most populous country to end the pattern of violence by security forces against civilians. Leaders must finally acknowledge that this brutality has fueled violent extremism. How the Nigerian government will respond to citizens’ insistent demand for accountable governance will influence similar struggles—for democracy, accountability, nonviolence and stability—across much of Africa.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism; Democracy & Governance; Nonviolent Action

Africa is the next global influencer. That’s an opportunity.

Africa is the next global influencer. That’s an opportunity.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

By: James Rupert

In a COVID-altered landscape of global security threats, economic opportunities and strategic change, Africa is seizing center stage. Africans form the world’s fastest-growing population and national economies. Violent crises, democracy movements, extremist threats, international investments, human displacement and strategic opportunities all are rising. The coronavirus pandemic underscores both Africa’s risks to global stability from fragile states—and the overlooked potential of a continent now outperforming wealthier regions in containing the public health crisis. COVID is the latest reminder that “Africa’s deepening vulnerabilities and its rising capacities will shape global realities whether we prepare for that or not,” according to scholar Joseph Sany.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Can Syrians Who Left ISIS Be Reintegrated into Their Communities?

Can Syrians Who Left ISIS Be Reintegrated into Their Communities?

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

By: Mona Yacoubian ; Chris Bosley; Leanne Erdberg Steadman

More than a year since the territorial defeat of ISIS, the region is still reeling in the wake of the self-styled caliphate’s destruction. Kurdish authorities operate two dozen detention facilities in northeast Syria holding thousands of former ISIS fighters. On October 5, Kurdish authorities in charge of al-Hol said they would free the 24,000 Syrians in the camp, where conditions have become increasingly unsustainable. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian, Chris Bosley, and Leanne Erdberg Steadman look at what led to the decision to release these Syrians and the challenges ahead for reintegrating them into their communities.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Reconciliation; Violent Extremism

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