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Truth is the Best Propaganda: Edward R. Murrow's Speeches in the Kennedy Years

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... Gullion said shortly before his death: 'I always thought journalists and diplomats could learn a great deal from one another' (Saxon 1998). Ironically, Edward R. Murrow himself referred to his work with President John F. Kennedy as that of a government propagandist (Snow 2013). Edmund Gullion's legacy to public diplomacy has been reduced to mostly an etymological one, which downplays his extraordinary diplomatic career that placed him in the front seat of history from Southeast Asia to Africa. ...
... A widely accepted path in the literature is the conceptual roadmap between government-led and defined public diplomacy and new public diplomacy defined by an assortment of state and nonstate international actors who seek to influence the behavior and attitudes of international citizens. The "old" path (traditional, legacy) favors unidirectional and unilateral outreach to global publics led by mass media (Voice of America; Radio Free Europe), memorable monologues (e.g., JFK's anti-Communist "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech during the Cold War), and competitive rhetoric such as Edward R. Murrow's famous dictum, "truth is the best propaganda" (Snow, 2013), which juxtaposed the U.S. approach to government information sharing in a free press environment to the closed authoritarian model. The traditional path relied heavily on surveys and public opinion polls to provide feedback to governments and ministries of foreign affairs for fine-tuning messaging. ...
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Public diplomacy is a subfield of political science and international relations that involves study of the process and practice by which nation-states and other international actors engage global publics to serve their interests. It developed during the Cold War as an outgrowth of the rise of mass media and public opinion drivers in foreign policy management. The United States, in a bipolar ideological struggle with the Soviet Union, recognized that gaining public support for policy goals among foreign populations worked better at times through direct engagement than traditional, often closed-door, government-to-government contact. Public diplomacy is still not a defined academic field with an underlying theory, although its proximity to the originator of soft power, Joseph Nye, places it closer to the neoliberal school that emphasizes multilateral pluralistic approaches in international relations. The term is a normative replacement for the more pejorative-laden propaganda, centralizes the role of the civilian in international relations to elevate public engagement above the level of manipulation associated with government or corporate propaganda. Building mutual understanding among the actors involved is the value commonly associated with public diplomacy outcomes of an exchange or cultural nature, along with information activities that prioritize the foreign policy goals and national interests of a particular state. In the mid-20th century, public diplomacy's emphasis was less scholarly and more practical-to influence foreign opinion in competition with nation-state rivals. In the post-Cold War period, the United States in particular pursued market democracy expansion in the newly industrializing countries of the East. Soft power, the negative and positive attraction that flows from an international actor's culture and behavior, became the favored term associated with public diplomacy. After 9/11, messaging and making a case for one's agenda to win the hearts and minds of a Muslim-majority public became predominant against the backdrop of a U.S.-led global war on terrorism and two active interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Public diplomacy was utilized in one-way communication campaigns such as the Shared Values Initiative of the U.S. Department of State, which backfired when its target-country audiences rejected the embedded messages as self-serving propaganda. In the 21st century, global civil society and its enemies are on the level of any diplomat or culture minister in matters of public diplomacy. Narrative competition in a digital and networked era is much deeper, broader, and adversarial while the mainstream news media, which formerly set how and what we think about, no longer holds dominance over national and international narratives. Interstate competition has shifted to competition from nonstate actors who use social media as a form of information and influence warfare in international relations. As disparate scholars and practitioners continue to acknowledge public diplomacy approaches, the research agenda will remain case-driven, corporate-centric (with the infusion of public relations), less theoretical, and more global than its Anglo-American roots.
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An investigation into how and why has asylum become securitised, the principal consequences, and how the trend may be reversed or ameliorated.
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Propaganda is sponsored information that uses cause‐ and emotion‐laden content to sway public opinion and behavior in support of the source's goals. Propaganda utilizes mass media to cultivate a propaganda mind, that is, the individual in relationship to the masses, such as society or large groups. The majority view of propaganda today is neutralist: it is generally accepted that propaganda is here to stay and the need now is to figure out how to delineate the good from the bad. In the twenty‐first century, the rise of fake news and disinformation campaigns have expanded the continuum of what constitutes the darker forms of propaganda. On its face, the ethics and standards of respectable journalism eschews propaganda goals altogether, but increasingly treads into its path through the rising waters of credibility, narrativity, opinion shaping, entertainment, and storytelling that have increasingly replaced the higher standard of objective, facts‐centric truth. To various degrees, the influencers and respectable journalists are immersed in propaganda channels, much more so than the general population, which has neither the means nor interest in distinguishing information from propaganda. The propaganda that we so often disdain is here to stay.
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