Comments for The Public Diplomat a dialogue about public diplomacy Tue, 06 May 2014 08:50:31 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on [LISTEN] U.S. Public Diplomacy in a Digital Context by [LISTEN] U.S. Public Diplomacy in a Digital Con... Tue, 06 May 2014 08:50:31 +0000 […]   […]

Comment on [LISTEN] U.S. Public Diplomacy in a Digital Context by Nick Cull Mon, 05 May 2014 19:12:47 +0000 A great conversation — thanks for posting…

Comment on [LISTEN] U.S. Public Diplomacy in a Digital Context by Rethinking US public diplomacy and digital engagement :: Intermap Fri, 02 May 2014 14:25:43 +0000 […] I had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Ardaiolo of the Public Diplomat, a podcast and website produced by students and scholars at Syracuse University’s public diplomacy program. Here is the link: U.S. Public Diplomacy in a Digital Context […]

Comment on When Nation Branding Fails, Who’s to Blame? by Kimber Sun, 13 Apr 2014 07:22:42 +0000 I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles.
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Comment on The Daily: #Weiboplomacy by The Daily: Weibo Diplomacy Makes the News | The Public Diplomat Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:30:19 +0000 […] time I have seen “Weibo Diplomacy” used in mass media. Good thing we coined the term! (Though there is a pretty good chance someone used it before us as […]

Comment on Japan’s Brand Depends on People Not Profits by Homepage Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:44:07 +0000 … [Trackback]

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Comment on A Human Investment: Refugees for the Rust Belt by [WATCH] My Lucky Tummy’s Citizen-to-Citizen Gastrodiplomacy | The Public Diplomat Thu, 13 Mar 2014 18:29:17 +0000 […] New American communities as its driving force. Every few months, he hires citizens of Syracuse—8% of which are refugees—to cook their favorite meals. He then invites the greater Syracuse community to come sample the […]

Comment on [LISTEN] On Culinary Diplomacy by Culinary Diplomacy and The Public Diplomat | Culinary Diplomacy Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:04:13 +0000 […] spoke with Michael for a podcast on culinary diplomacy, which you can listen to here, and published an article on the upcoming World Expo in Milan.  Here’s an excerpt from the […]

Comment on [LISTEN] Ukraine’s Cold War in the Social Media Age by The Daily: How to Control a Narrative in 2014 | The Public Diplomat Mon, 03 Mar 2014 11:54:31 +0000 […] it will be difficult to parse the misinformation from the real information. Andrea Chalupa, who we recently had on to talk about Ukraine, gets at this problem with this enlightening piece. (We will repost the […]

Comment on Entertainment Has Diplomatic Consequences by Blake Stilwell Fri, 28 Feb 2014 22:25:42 +0000 When viewing films abroad, it is important to consider the kind of film you’re watching. No one I’ve ever met abroad will connect an image of the United States based on the plot or premise of a ridiculous action flick.

Action films are immensely popular overseas for many reasons, the most important is the visual language. You don’t have to be able to read subtitles to understand what’s happening in an action film. This is a big deal for places where the films aren’t or can’t be dubbed or the films are on satellite nets from another country. (For Transformers, you don’t even need to know English to figure out the plot). People just like to see an action-packed good vs. evil story.

Despite what the English-Language Chinese newspapers say, no one goes to a movie, sees the US Army in it and thinks of the US Military-Industrial Complex. Not even Americans. What people care about is how their own country or culture is depicted in television and film. This is why the Iranians hated the movie 300, Turks hated Lawrence of Arabia and that Chinese paper on the aforementioned podcast had a problem with Transformers.

But is that propaganda? No. Propaganda implies some kind of purposeful communication designed to sway your thinking. The entertainment industry doesn’t care what other countries think. They just want their money. The international market is roughly half a “blockbuster” film’s gross earnings, but that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be more sensitive to other cultures. Aaron Sorkin put this point of view best in a panel at the Norman Lear Center, when asked about the depiction of Muslims in American television and film:

“I think it is important to bear in mind that the number one American
export is entertainment — movies, television shows. That said, the
trouble obviously is that most Hollywood stories have always been
about good guys and bad guys; and you always need a bad guy
whether it’s the Russians, or before that, the Japanese, or before
that, the Indians. It’s Islam’s turn right now. ”

And soon it might be China’s turn. Whatever gets people to buy tickets, which is the only thing our entertainment industry cares about.