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.

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