Seib in Huffington Post: "Public diplomacy is not merely an exercise ... to feel warm and cuddly"
Posted July 22, 2009
Journalism professor and director of USC's Center on Public Diplomacy Philip Seib
(pictured) wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post
on July 22 titled "Toward a More Imaginative U.S. Public Diplomacy
." The article discusses how the United States can improve its reputation throughout the world, beginning with changing its own perception of what the rest of the world wants to hear.
"Much of American public diplomacy remains rooted in the Cold War-era assumption that the world yearns for information from the United States," Seib wrote. "That may have been true when the alternative to such worthy institutions as the Voice of America was Radio Moscow, but no longer."
Seib reiterated why public diplomacy is imperative for the country.
"American policymakers work at a disadvantage when they must deal with widespread hostility as they develop and advance U.S. priorities. Also, public diplomacy should be considered the keystone of antiterrorism efforts." Seib suggested in order to achieve a more positive image, Americans should reach out to other cultures through Internet resources.
At the end of the piece, he explained no amount of public diplomacy will help America's image if policies do not change first. "(I)f the Obama administration is sincere in wanting to bring U.S. policy into alignment with global norms, a new public diplomacy will be essential in delivering the American message and building American bridges to the rest of the world."
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