March 28, 2011

Fran Drescher Goes to Washington

Public Diplomacy is no longer for the few and privileged Foreign Service Officers, says John Robert Kelley. Rather it is transforming in a way to include much more of the ‘P’ in ‘PD’. According to the Figure in Kelley’s article “The New Diplomacy: Evolution of a Revolution,” actors such as NGO’s, Religious Leaders, Intelligentsia Celebrities and Private Sector have an increasingly important role in Public Diplomacy and I would add to this the public itself as well as illustrated by the implementation of Public Diplomacy 2.0 in which two way communication from the public was encouraged and seen as the new wave of PD. I agree that in this increasingly technological world there is no way you can ignore the additional actors who play a role in Public Diplomacy but as mentioned, but as Kelley himself acknowledged diplomats are as integral to the act of public diplomacy as states themselves (which are the only reason we have diplomats in there current carnation anyway). So how much stock should we put in these actors? Can they really help? All signs point to yes… in certain cases. PD strategies are becoming more contingency based (appropriately so) and so many of the things listed above will be used in conjunction with one another in order to make an overall PD strategy that a country uses. The U.S., for example, uses all of the above in some form or other. My favorite non-governmental PD move is the use of actors, and I’m not being sarcastic. At first look making someone like, I don’t know, Fran Drescher a US ambassador is not music to ones ears. However she is the ambassador for “women's issues,” which is a cheesy title but not all together a bad idea. Drescher herself went had breast cancer, which is definitely a woman’s issue and also a very emotionally and physically draining experience. Having someone who has actually been through the experience makes the connection to other women more genuine, especially for something like a disease, which does not tend to respect national borders and international rules of conduct. Therefore addressing a universal issue with someone who can be more empathetic than most is a great strategy and is the ideal example of public diplomacy through new channels. Will this program work? Only time will tell. It won’t solve all foreign policy problems but it definitely helps give a face and personality to the once solely bureaucratic machine of PD.

Sources: John Robert Kelley, "The New Diplomacy: Evolution of a Revolution," Diplomacy & Statecraft, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2010, 1-21

Cricket Diplomacy

There are many things common between India and Pakistan like, languages, literature, music, religious traditions, and thousands of years of togetherness under local rulers and competing empires. There is only one issue that despite this commonality makes them distant neighbors: the Kashmir issue.
It is the dispute over Kashmir region that sharpens differences and blurs this commonness. However, the sports of cricket, which has deep roots in the subcontinent as a cultural tradition, is one other strand that weaves the peoples of India and Pakistan together. Cashing in on this cultural tradition, leaders of the two countries have used Cricket Diplomacy to thaw iciness in their relations.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to the pleasant surprise of many, invited his Pakistani counterpart to watch the World Cup 2011 semi-final between the two countries' teams in Mohali, India, as part of Cricket Diplomacy. And Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has concurred to watch the match alongside Mr. Singh.

It is not the first time for India and Pakistan to use cricket for diplomacy; it started in early 1980s when Indian and Pakistani armed forces had been eyeball to eyeball with each other. The Indian Express newspaper says:

"Cricket diplomacy is now very much a part of Indo-Pak diplomatic tradition. In 1987, Gen. Zia ul Haque [military ruler of Pakistan] invited himself to witness a cricket match in India as part of his effort to defuse tensions following a military confrontation. Gen. Musharraf [another military ruler of Pakistan] did much the same in April 2005, when he wrangled an invitation from Dr. Singh to witness an Indo-Pak cricket match in Delhi. The talks during that visit produced the basis for a serious bilateral negotiation on resolving the dispute over Jammu & Kashmir."

In 2005, Mr. Singh told the Indian Parliament that nothing brings the people of the subcontinent together more than our love for cricket and Bollywood. His predecessor Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, before sending them to Pakistan, advised the Indian cricket players: "Dil bhi jeeto!" [Win their hearts too].

Many commentators see the Indian Prime Minister's invite a smart diplomatic initiative through cricket undertaken after India and Pakistan resumed the dialogue process stalled in November 2008 when the Indian financial capital Mumbai was hit by terrorist attacks.

One commentator has rightly pointed out the potency of Cricket Diplomacy by observing: "Overnight, the mood of the media and the people, at least in Pakistan, has turned towards India." What politicians, generals and diplomats could not achieve in years, Cricket Diplomacy has done it in ways.

It is now up to the politicians to catch on the positive public sentiments and move on normalizing relations between India and Pakistan. Public Diplomacy does not resolve thorny issues, but it does build confidence and trust between peoples of two countries. When diplomats and politicians talk to each other in an atmosphere of trust, they can reach an understanding on issues that bedevil their relations.

Diplomacy is changing!! Repeat, Diplomacy is changing and will continue to do so!!

This week’s readings pertained to transformational diplomacy. That is, the process by which traditional diplomacy is being altered due to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Anthony Deos and Geoffrey Allen Pigman articulate,

“Diplomatic communication itself has been disintermediated by global media that bring information from around the globe to policymakers and general publics alike, often in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Increasingly, governments seeking to implement and legitimate a foreign policy seek to commu­ nicate and promote their policies directly to the affected foreign pub­ lics (as well as domestic publics) and must be prepared to react to and act on the responses of these publics. Just as publics have come to be participants in the escalation of conflict and hostility between govern­ ments, they have come to playa role in the use of diplomacy to mediate estrangement between actors (Oer Oerian, 1987).”

While this change is very exciting and gives individuals throughout the world a voice like they have never had before, it is also terrifying. Today’s world, in terms of national security, is very different than it once was. In light of global tensions caused by terrorism such as the US embassy bombings in Kenya, 9/11, and the March 11th bombings in Madrid, it is evident how media creates and perpetuates uncertainty in the international system based on the news story. Deos and Pigman go on to say, “there has been an increase in both number and influence of non-state actors, including multilateral institutions, global corporations, not-for-profit groups and other NGOs in the international diplomatic discourse”. The point is that more actors have more ability to render attention toward selected issues of importance. So communicating a clear identity in the midst of an overwhelming amount of information available to societies is inherently difficult because public diplomacy is constantly changing with every news update. It is relentless, which is why the more voices there are, the more fascinating, vital, and chaotic (at the same time) public diplomacy becomes. The alternative to public diplomacy, use of hard power, is simply not desired if conflicts can be calmly diffused through public diplomacy.

March 26, 2011

Public Diplomacy: not just for diplomats anymore

In reconceptualizing public diplomacy from propaganda, to soft power, and long-term communication, the actor has always been the state. The traditional roots of “diplomacy” and a realist attitude towards non-state actors has left the power of NGOs, institutions and active citizens outside the realm of public diplomacy. But that may no longer be possible, or wise, for states to do.

As Fisher wrote in “Music for the Jilted Generation,” the “practice of public diplomacy” is developing and the “barriers to entry,” like the Internet and other communications technologies, are decreasing rapidly and “this has the potential to break down the hierarchical producer and recipient relationship, and creates a means for collective action.” Fisher calls it “open source” diplomacy, where Kelley stresses the “new” public diplomacy with non-state actors, present from “take-offs” and not just the crash landings of critical strategic situations.

A state could use long-term “engagement” or relationship building techniques with the goal of increasing “social capital” with particular countries. But this takes a long time, could be expensive, might not work, and has proven itself to be very difficult to sway policymakers towards, despite the sense-making inherent to the theories of engagement.

Or, they could use intermediary organizations and spokespeople, where the message is no longer controlled directly by diplomats, but conveyed via stakeholders with better relationships and more credibility with target audiences. And perhaps, as Fisher’s use of the term “open source” suggests, it will cause more people to get involved and become stakeholders in foreign policy. It goes beyond traditional diplomacy, “to engaging on a genuinely symmetrical, peer-to-peer engagement aimed at engaging in collective effort with groups that were previously largely only considered as part of the target audience.” (Fisher)

March 24, 2011

DirecTV Commercials: Russia, You Have a Problem

Reposting from Global Chaos, yet again.


Not that it's anything new... and yet, it shows - once again - that Russia, along with several other former Communist/Socialist states, has a major image problem in the U.S. On numerous occasions before, I have discussed these stereotype issues on this blog, and this new DirecTV commercial only reiterates it all. (The commercial might have been around for quite a while, but since I do not own a TV - quite fortunately - I would ask for your understanding on the delayed response.)

Here's the "new" commercial, which seems to have been launched this month:

I have no words to explain how it is supposed to be related - if at all - to promoting a satellite TV service. But that aside: what images does it convey and what stereotypes of Russia, and Russians, is it playing on?

In a series of papers, Ivan Katchanovski has demonstrated the negative representation of Russia and some other former Soviet countries in American news coverage, as well as in popular culture. His analysis of a set of Hollywood movies has shown that:
"most of the movies, incorrectly present Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine as economically and technologically backward, extremely anti-American and anti-Semitic countries, which have pervasive “Russian mafia” and widespread female prostitution."

I couldn't not think of this excerpt when I saw this commercial "masterpiece".

Why is it a problem?

In his work on "imagology", William Chew has correctly pointed out that:
"[...] national stereotypes are generally rationalised by the spector as based on a supposedly objective reality, but [they also] tend to be omnipresent in comics, cinema, literature, computer games, public media, jokes and the like, and are constantly though not consciously invoked to confirm one’s auto-image, one’s national identity. Once established, they remain latent in the individual consciousness, or collective mentality, to be called upon when needed."

Just like on many occasions before, such representations only reinforce the not-so-positive images of Russia held by so many Americans, cashing in on long-held stereotypes. Unfortunately, the multitude of the people who will see this commercial will - most probably - never see a Russian ballet performance, for example, which will only help to perpetuate such negative attitudes.

This is a major issue to be addressed by Russia as a part of its public diplomacy effort. Of course, many would find this ingenious piece funny, and would argue that it works as great advertising... (for who, one might ask?) However, I wonder what the reaction would have been, had "the Russian" been replaced by an Israeli, for instance. (This is a rhetorical question, by the way. And yet, I would appreciate insights, if you're willing to share.)

In short, some more food for thought...

And just for your reference, here's the hideous "prequel", that has been on air for about a year now (to the best of my knowledge, that is).

I know you're dying to get DirecTV now, eh?

Does American Cultural Diplomacy have a pulse?

Mark Twain once said, “Culture is what is left after everything else is forgotten." Like Twain nailed it. It is impossible to be without culture. Richard T. Arndt, author of the "The Hush-Hush Debate: The Cultural Foundations of U.S. Public Diplomacy", discusses cultural diplomacy. He discusses its definition,

“To define cultural diplomacy, begin with cultural relations –which happen by themselves, a mosaic of human encounters fostered by films and media, trade, tourism, intermarriage, the arts of imagination, foreign study, books, neighborly gossip and chance encounters. Cultural diplomacy on the other hand only begins when a nation-state and its institutions step in and try to manage, to whatever extent they can, this natural two-way cultural flow so as better to advance broad national interests, preferably on both sides of borders. Some cultural relations are teaching opportunities, others learning situations; both processes educate the teachers as much as the student. The goal is to move from teacher-student relationships to collegiality.”

That said, American cultural diplomacy is highly reliant on its popular culture. But we have become too reliant on our inevitable popular culture to communicate to the world for us. While it is informal, it also convolutes the idea of American culture, which as John Brown points out is based on ideas rather than cultural tradition. Formal cultural diplomacy deserves greater attention and cognizance from the people, the government, and the private sector. Arndt points out that there used to be 200-odd libraries abroad and now we only have a dozen or so. Instead of cutting cultural staff overseas, US officials need to be increasing it. We may find that it would improve the international environment because of increased cultural understanding.

The US needs to be more careful of how other countries perceive us. For instance, while the movie Borat was a place branding nightmare in Kazakhstan, it also reflected poorly to some extent on Hollywood for its crude and culturally insensitive humor. Popular culture, as seen here, can prove to be a double edged sword- great for creating venue but it can also cause a lot of tension. In order to keep US cultural diplomacy alive, releases of movies like this one and formal acts of cultural diplomacy at US embassies around the world are the first step in creating a more solidified space to communicate through dialogue and collaboration with outside publics.

March 21, 2011

PD vs. CD

Richard T. Arndt, in his article entitled The Hush-Hush Debate: The Cultural Foundation of U.S. Public Diplomacy, draws a distinction between Cultural Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy calling for enlisting universities' role in bridging the gap between CD and PD.
PD, Arndt says, is the art of shaping, adjusting and communicating national policies to foreign governments and publics, while CD aims at a longer-range of policy to strengthen dialogue between a nation's intellectual and professional leaders and their students with counterparts in the world, based on the culture of the universities.
Academic and intellectual exchanges produce lasting effects in notions of nations, though in a slow process. The media of mass communication have been enlisted by nations to burnish their image because of their relatively quick effect. However, television and film industry always need a bit of exaggeration or hyperbole to emphasize its depiction of the society.
This is the problem that Hollywood creates an image of the U.S. which is far from the reality. Since its audience is global, Hollywood cannot focus on just American values or for that matter on any single nation's values to produce a widely-popular film. I think that is the reason that the mass media, including television, creates an image of a nation which may not be factual.
In such a situation Arndt's argument holds water that academia and students should be involved in the cultural diplomacy of the U.S.

March 19, 2011

Zogby: Americans Still Don't Get the Arabs

Here's a super-interesting discussion I came across recently with James Zogby on Americans' misunderstanding of the Middle East region, its people, and its consequent public diplomacy implications.

Some of the highlights include:

- Zogby: “I felt that with President Obama having the best of intentions, closing that gap was going to be a must, first. I don’t think public diplomacy begins with our selling of our message overseas as much as it begins with our understanding the region that we want to sell our message to, at home. We don’t understand the Arab world, so we talk at them, and not to them, not with them.” --> interesting case of differentiation between "transmission" and "ritual" views of communication, and the implications of confusion...

- Mentions the age-old concern about the lack of education on the region and the acquisition of that knowledge from the popular culture & Hollywood, instead.

- Clear disconnect between the issues that Arabs themselves pointed out as important/significant for them, and those that are promoted and even "pushed" by the U.S. --> such public diplomacy only backfires.

Yet, he still has some hope. Perhaps we should do, too.

March 17, 2011

Why Bring Beyonce to Beijing When Jay-Z Can Bring India to North Philadelphia?

The readings by Cull and Kovach which both talk about the collaborative side of Cultural Diplomacy both made me think of a song by a guy named Punjabi MC and his song Mundian to Bach Ke featuring Jay-Z. The song has a very catchy tune, which is basically a rip off of the Night Rider theme song, and he collaborated (aka sampled, but he still had a part in it) with Jay-Z who added a verse to the song. I wish I could have thought of a cultural collaboration more along the lines of a jazz performance like the articles talk about, but Jay-Z is what popped into my head, and so Jay-Z is what we get.

However, my lack of musical cultural knowledge aside even this song itself is such a mix of cultures, identities and musical genres that I think it’s a great example of cultural diplomacy. I first heard this song at a Bhangra performance in college. The team (composed of mostly Indian students) chose the song and the audience (composed of mostly Indian students) went wild. Even at this micro level the effects of cultural diplomacy permeating everyday life is apparent. Digging deeper into what this song is and who these artists are it is easy to see why this collaboration had a deep impact.

Punjabi MC is actually a British-Indian rapper whose genres include Bhangra and hip-hop. He had sampled some hip-hop songs before Jay-Z but this song became a hit not only in the UK but the US as well. Jay-Z is a major superstar around the world and his music reaches places from urban schoolyards, to college campuses, to corporate holiday parties. But he got his start as a drug dealer in Brooklyn in a broken home. You may be asking yourself why does this matter? Especially when we can look at more legitimate CD acts like the example of the Tunisian/bluegrass band collaboration that Kovach mentions. Well this is why it matters to me. When this song started coming on the radios it reached Philadelphia, where I am from as well. This song came on when I was in the car with one of my cousins, who has never left Philadelphia and never been out of the country in her life. My dad’s side of the family all hale from North Philadelphia, where guys like Jay-Z in his pre-superstar days are a dime a dozen, so he is automatically relatable on a cultural/identity level. As the song started I told her about how I had seen a Bhangra performance of this at school. All at once she started to tell me about how she had looked the song up on the Internet and had seen many of these performances online as well. She said that then she started to search for other Bhangra music and that she had watched many performances and even watched a few short Bollywood films online. She then started to tell me about the history of Bhangra. She concluded with, “… and Jay-Z’s part is pretty cool too.”

I wouldn’t call this a “prestigious gift” on the part of India (especially since its from someone who is British), but the impact of one song on the cultural education of one person about a completely different part of the world shows how powerful cultural diplomacy can be. Not only is it powerful, but it doesn’t have to be something that necessarily seems “culturally enlightening”. Cull brushes aside the Beyonce to Beijing type of CD, and sure it has its repercussions as all of these things do, but if that sort of “base line” culture applies to some people (and lets be real to the majority of our population) then why not use it?

So while Arndt gives a dreary outlook on where CD is today I agree with his optimistic view of the future. But instead of trying to reach new heights never seen before by CD scholars and practitioners, maybe we should take a moment and aim lower.

March 16, 2011

Video game diplomacy?

Video games, like any other medium, for good or evil.

So yeah, I’m going to write about the geeky article, and raise you an even geekier premise: video games can also be used for good, not just propaganda. Maybe not really diplomacy, but you get the idea.

Many modern video games, first-person shooters in particular, could certainly be called propaganda, especially when they are set in real-world past wars against past enemies, like Modern Enemy mentioned in the ‘Interactive Goebbels’ article. Few video games could be construed with advertising or education, but some are starting to move in that direction. They have learning games for kids, and maybe the possibility for even more.

Its all about crowd-sourcing, getting many people together to do things together and solve problems, according to the Institute for the Future and this TED talk here:

If diplomacy evolved past the blatant propaganda posters of WWII, perhaps simplistic video games with propagandistic settings will follow suit.

March 14, 2011

Spanish Nationalism and Branding: Viva la Cultura!

In light of my trip to Madrid for work on my master's thesis, I was inspired to do some research about Spanish public diplomacy since Spain is also the country I will be profiling. John Brown notes, in his blog post "Public Diplomacy: "Out" for the U.S., "In" Overseas", Spain has extensive overseas exchange programs to extend its reach internationally. However, the country does not formally recognize "public diplomacy" per se, but has branded itself as a culturally attractive country for students and travelers to live in and visit, respectively. As Spain’s national capital, Madrid is perceived as being rich with history and culture but it hasn’t always been thought of so highly. In fact, it was not too long ago that Toledo was Spain’s capital, not Madrid. It is an understatement to say that Spain’s government was not nearly as open to cultural, economic, and political globalization as it is today.

Three decades ago, Spain was dealing with the after-effects of the Franco regime. It was remote, backward, and associated with little beyond the Spanish Civil War, Franco’s fascist dictatorship and Don Quixote[1]. Spain was perceived as Europe’s backwater nation- a poor, isolated country with little real tourist infrastructure and little draw for a forward-looking Europe.

As Spain transformed itself into a strong democracy, with a considerably more robust economy, it sought to reintroduce itself to the world by orchestrating a branding campaign that played on multiple facets of cultural society.

Through a coordinated national campaign of branding that brought together various stakeholders in Spanish civil and cultural society, Spain managed to revitalize its national image. The Iberian nation sought to refashion its image to that of a progressive and thoroughly modern nation that serves as a hub for tourism, art and culture, chic, and fun. There were special efforts around student exchange diplomacy particularly with the US and Japan and also around the creation of local tourism boards. More importantly, it used major international sports events like the Barcelona Olympics to maximize its branding campaign.

Finally, during one of my interviews for my thesis, I asked, “What does being Spanish mean to you?” One gentleman answered, “Definitely, our gastronomy! Our food sets us apart”. That said, Madrid is branding itself as a place to have the very best Spanish cuisine by setting up a restaurant week and tours of the cities best and oldest taverns for tourists and students, alike.

[1] Sarah Boxer, “A new Poland, no joke,” New York Times, December 1, 2002.

March 7, 2011

Public broadcasting as public diplomacy

From a Zaharna-esque point of view, if we are going to turn public diplomacy from propaganda to strategic engagement, is traditional “international broadcasting” the way to go? It seems disingenuous to change the news based on who’s listening, and is certainly not transparent or open or any of those adjectives we say we want our government to be. The Smith-Mundt Act only makes the situation sound even worse, because we’re not even supposed to know what is broadcast to other countries.

Perhaps 50 years ago, the broadcasts of the VOA were a mystery to most people, and the chance of hearing foreign stations pop up on US soil was minimal. Now, BBC and RT show up on my basic cable, I can live-stream Al Jazeera online, and if I had satellite cable, I could get practically every channel from around the world. Information overload, certainly, but at least I’d know what we were saying, to whom, and what they thought about us.

Maybe if Americans heard about the US relationship with Kenya, or Uzbekistan, or anywhere, they’d be more inclined to take an interest in international affairs, or at least learn where that is on a map. And maybe if they heard what we were saying over VOA, they’d know a little bit more about public diplomacy and why its important. If our communications are transparent, they need not be covert, but if we’re hiding things, we probably have something to hide.

Or maybe, everyone else could get the same news we get (just kidding, not Fox). Al Jazeera (called propaganda and other epithets) broadcasts to a regional audience, but offered a different view that pulled in new viewers in the US by the thousands to watch events in Egypt unfold. Al Jazeera English has some different programming, but the idea seems to be the same no matter which station you’re watching. If we would change how they view the news, but not what news they watch, perhaps our credibility would be better than what it is. And maybe public diplomacy would benefit, too.

Al Jazeera on Clinton's Information War

Here's an "Inside Story" episode on Clinton's remarks first aired on Al Jazeera on March 5.

Although a great discussion, it is somewhat frustrating to hear the guests discussing Clinton's "confusion" of international and domestic media, while her testimony was aimed precisely at that: convincing the Congressmen of the need to keep the financing of foreign broadcasting, because the American domestic media, and more importantly, because its pop culture (remember the Afghan General story?) cannot do the all-important job of public diplomacy...

Strongly recommend watching through it all!

Cutting federal funds for public media

As the U.S. is pouring tons of dollars to bankroll international broadcasting like the Voice of America, Sawa, RFE/RL and others, the House recently passed a bill that eliminated all financing for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the year 2013. It prompted Secretary Hillary Clinton to make a forceful plea before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to salvage public broadcasting in the U.S. She said: "al-Jazeera is the real news--like it or not!" President of National Public Radio (NPR) made a public plea against the federal cut.
Democracy Now held an interview with Robert McChesney, professor of communication at the University of Illinois, who called Secretary Clinton "one of the most perceptive critics of American media". McChesney makes a strong case for the U.S. public diplomacy [without using this term] by saying:

"The smart thing to do is ... [to] create a really dynamic, strong, competitive public and community broadcasting system that treats the U.S. government the same way it treats other governments, the same standard of journalism, then broadcast that to the world ... [T]hat would show the United States at its very best. And that would be a voice that would have a great appeal to people around the world who are yearning for freedom and democracy and it would enhance the U.S. position in the world more than anything possible could."

Prof. McChesney spoke at length about American journalism; his interview is worth watching.

P.S. Prof. McChesney's interview starts in the middle of the video.

March 4, 2011

The Social Power the Media

The social power of media is an expansive topic. Van Ham says that media has always had and will always have social power, but the medium that is used is forever changing and expanding. So what’s the new wave of disseminating information to control the masses? Blogs! Apparently everyone will listen to what I have to say because I am writing a blog and my word is truth. My first order of business as owner of this prestigious and awesome social power is to outlaw pajama jeans. Its just wrong people- stop it. Just wear your jeans and stop the laziness, it’s embarrassing.

Now that I’ve handled that piece of business lets talk more about media social power.

Van Ham is right, media has and will always have persuasion value over the masses. However, in this day in age with the Internet (and blogs!) how much power any given source has is ultimately in the hands of the viewer. This is where credibility comes into play. As previously studied there are a few ways to gain or have credibility. One is to be established as a government funded source of information and report broadly on all international topics. This is what the BBC did when it started and why it is still a very reputable western source of information. Another way is to establish yourself a strictly non-partisan source of information and prove that by pissing off people on both sides of every argument and have a massive following of people in your main demographic area. This is what Al-Jazeera has done for itself.

How does this translate to Internet credibility? Van Ham himself says that the sheer amount of information that is now disseminated creates a sort of “black hole” of information where it becomes fragmented. Van Ham says that Nye and Owen both talk about the “information advantage.” This is an important and crucial part of gaining credit in this changing and fast paced world. Today people are so used to getting information instantaneously and that being the first to disseminate information into the newsphere is almost as good as being a person’s preferred new source. The first place you see an interesting news story is most likely the place where you will read about it. I agree with Nye and Owens that if U.S. news sources have this capacity it should be used. However, hastiness can be no substitution for accurate information. If in the haste to get a news story out it is later reported that this story has false facts, all credibility will be lost. Therefore this is a delicate balancing act.

In the end something like credibility as a media source is not something that can be gained overnight, but it is not impossible as people will always need a place to get information and media will always have, as Van Ham says, social power. Therefore news sources will never stop trying to attain it. In the end this may work out best for the viewers and readers who will over time have access to the most transparent and accurate reporting due to the competitive conditions that now face all news sources.