Our round-up of news, notes, tips and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
While the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement is bridging the two countries economically, it may be the cross-cultural popularity of an Australian comedian and a Korean pop singer who actually bring Australia and South Korea closer together.
Beyond the economic and military relationship, the recent successes of Sam Hammington and Dami Im voice an undeniable claim for the importance of culture and communications (mass media) as integral aspects of public diplomacy. 2013 The X-Factor – Australia winner, Dami Im, and 2013 MBC Entertainment Awards Male Newcomer award winner Sam Hammington have both found success in unlikely places. Despite the recent fog of negative reporting regarding racism in Australia and the habitual hesitant reception of non-Koreans in Korean mainstream media, the success of these two celebrities largely represents the improvement of conditions for foreigners in the respective countries. [Medium]
— Digital Diplomacy (@DigiDiplomats) April 22, 2014
Canada has upped its international digital diplomacy presence substantially in the last few months, but how much of this effort is just digital advertising?
The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) has nearly doubled its social media presence in the past four months, according to newly-released numbers. According to the department, DFATD has added more than 90 new social media accounts for “missions abroad and departmental initiatives” since Jan. 1, bringing the total number of social media accounts to more than 200 … However, Paris argues in his article that the Canadian government still a ways to go. He said the “Canadian approach” to digital diplomacy is still missing a willingness to engage in two-way communications between government officials and other online users. In addition to a social media presence, Paris said there must also be a policy framework in place allowing diplomats to communicate in the “informal and rapid style of these media.” [iPolitics]
— Anja Tuerkan (@AnjaTuerkan) April 22, 2014
While this article may over-emphasize the role sports play in a country’s soft power projection, it does paint a good picture of how India is trying to reform the Indian Super League in order to leverage it globally.
The Indian Super League (ISL) announced earlier this month, is our attempt to write a new chapter. Can we create a footballing culture with renewed energy, investment and commitment by the stakeholders? Well, the ingredients are there. Read IMG Worldwide, Reliance Industries, Star India and the Indian Federation, AIFF, on the same mission! Leveraging the strengths of these partners, ISL envisions creating new football powerhouses in this part of the world, and rising to global prominence as the country develops. Announcement of the eight ‘League Partners’, is the first step towards setting the pace for the dream of a billion-plus Indians to experience and embrace the beauty of top-quality football. [Exchange4Media]
— Jonathan Henick (@J_Henick) April 22, 2014
In need of more academic insight: the role that diaspora play in public and cultural diplomacy. For example, check out how young Sikhs in the Maryland public school system are educating their community on their religion and India.
But Singh and other Sikh leaders in the Maryland suburbs are pursuing a more nuanced strategy of outreach to area schools. They have met with teachers, produced videos and texts on Sikhism and invited school officials to temples for training sessions and worship ceremonies. One result is that many Montgomery County middle and high schools now include lessons on Sikhism in their religion courses. Another is a new cadre of experts and allies within the system … In some cases, students like Kaur are acting as ambassadors for their faith, partly through strong parental urging and partly from their own evolving commitment. In a recent interview, Kaur and a dozen other Sikh teenagers said school bullying was not a major problem for them, but several added that their parents had suffered from harassment as young immigrants and that they too still faced occasional insults or awkward moments. [Washington Post]
— Robin Brown (@rcmb) April 22, 2014
Members of the Tanzanian elite call for improved hospitality infrastructure in an effort to improve their nation brand and the tourism that would follow.
Last year a Tanzania tourism delegation was in Beijing in a mission to encourage Chinese investors to invest in Dar es Salaam, as there are many opportunities in the tourism industry which have not been well explored … The vice-president, a former ambassador to Nigeria and Sweden, said the number of tourists from China would increase in the near future rapidly if hospitality facilities are improved. “Most of the tourists are going to South Africa, Kenya, Namibia and Egypt because of improved facilities ranging from hotels to transport, Mr Fv said when meeting a group of journalists under the sponsorship of CPDA. [Daily News Tanzania]
— Embamex Rusia (@EmbaMexRus) April 23, 2014
— Nicholas Dynon (@nxdynon) April 22, 2014
photo credit: AllKPop