Monday, March 28, 2011
I have a difficult time answering this question, but I can reflect on the more specific issue of how new social media in particular is affecting diplomacy. By using the internet we each individually project things that potentially affect our country's image, and in addressing this, I can't help but consider the way certain sites in particular play a role. For me personally, Facebook has become an integral part of my day for socializing and leisure, but also for official correspondence and connections to academic and business resources. Almost every company, agency, business, and even government office has a presence on the site.
Tim Wu's article asks the question “Does facebook have a foreign policy?” While I was expecting the article to discuss how Facebook's user-generated content have framed a new set of actions that affect diplomacy, it actually focuses on Facebook's policies on censorship and privacy settings. Wu notes that on the heels of Yahoo in Europe and Google in China, the way in which Facebook proceeds as it enters foreign markets will define its position on these issues. However the article focuses too much on the whether Facebook will succeed as a business in hostile oversees markets. On the actual topic of foreign policy, I think it would have been much more a propos for the article to discuss how Facebook privacy policies and other standards represent a Western or even American value system and the implications of Facebook, as an American company, gaining popularity worldwide.
I have to comment on my open source blog I wrote back in February because after reading Ali Fisher’s article, “Music for the Jilted Generation: Open-Source Public Diplomacy”, I feel that I should tie in my ideas to his article.
Fisher calls for using open source philosophy as a framework for PD. Obviously I agree with this, as it was the topic of my posting on February 24th, 2011.
His article highlights four aspects of open source philosophy as a framework for PD. I am using his framework for a paper looking at some new programs at the State Department and how they fit into this structure. The four attributes he pulls out of the open source approach are: Direct involvement (users as co-developers), resonance (peers no outsiders), history (don’t reinvent the code) and transparency (share your work, make it available), and interest (involve enthusiasts at the planning stage and let their interest be a relevance test). All four of these categories have some overlap, but are essential to a new PD approach based on ideas instead of image.
I find it interesting that a lot of these ideas about a “new” PD echo literature in the development communication literature, where new development work moves away from the modernization top-down paradigm into emphasizing participation and collaboration from the communities where programs are in place. The effect seems to be a more sustainable approach, where if communities can take ownership of an initiative, that they will then be more likely to continue it.
Fisher’s article looks at how development should be done in an open and based on the community that it hopes to serve and its needs. He also emphasizes that in this form of PD that other people will “advocate your needs (not because they are yours, but because they are also their ideas.” (p. 13) This seems to be central to achieving effective PD. If you try to push ideas out onto people, they are not going to take those ideas in unless they are in line with their own ideas and needs. While this seems obvious as I write it, the actual PD programs and policy actions of the US have not seemed to take this into account. (Bush era pushing out of US agenda in the Middle East for example).
All of these ideas also relate to Cull’s article “Lessons from the Past”, where he looks at how the “new” PD in the UK emphasized ideas rather than ownership.
It is lovely to think of how people can share ideas and build networks of trust in which they feel inspired to share because of how efforts are multiplied. I hope that this kind of attitude can be fostered and grown in not only the structures of PD programs, but also in the minds of politicians and policy decision makers.
U.S. Department of State: “Trafficking is now considered the third largest source of profits for organized crime, behind only drugs and weapons, generating billions of dollars annually” (Department of State).
United Nations: “The reality is that human trafficking is a huge global problem. It is the third largest criminal activity in the world after armaments and drugs” (United Nations).
Checking the facts: The assertion that human trafficking is “the third largest” source of profits for organized crime, behind only drugs and weapons is an unfounded declaration thrown around and perpetuated by a variety of sources. A declaration of fact from the U.S. State Department and United Nations obviously carry weight, which likely goes a long way in explaining how this belief has been carried on. However, the foundation for this notion is not substantiated in either of these documents. Both the State Department and the United Nations documents offer no citations for this statistic.
The earliest reference I could find to support these statements goes back at least ten years to Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Harold Koh (in the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999) and Senator Sam Brownback (Republican-Kansas)(Story Repeated). Yet again, no substantiating information is provided for this contention in either of these public statements.
The lack of a reliable foundation for claims regarding human trafficking and organized crime has resulted in even more groundless and erroneous statements. The Harvard Journal of Law & Gender has gone even beyond claiming that ‘human trafficking’ is the third largest criminal enterprise, making a grand intellectual leap to assert that the “illegal sex industry” specifically is the third largest organized criminal activity. Similarly, assertions that the “trafficking of women and children” are the “third most lucrative” endeavor for organized crime have also been made. Other sources have even gone so far as to make speculative declares that human trafficking has overtaken arms trafficking, to become the second largest source of profits for organized crime.
Human trafficking is an important yet complicated issue, which requires more than blanketed unsubstantiated statements that obscure the reality of the situation. In this instance even credible sources have repeated a baseless claim, which illustrates the dangers of individual diplomacy in a globalize world; from the comments of Brownback to the statements of the State Department and the United Nations.
If anyone can find substantiating information for these comments I would be happy and amazed.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
As diplomacy becomes increasingly popular, especially with the Obama administration, practitioners verify that they hold the ability to better the reputation of the Western world. But according to Copeland, traditional diplomacy is not enough to tackle the challenges produced by globalization as the relevance of governments diminish from the center stage. Transformational public diplomacy on the other hand, should be understood and utilized globally in order to foster an appropriate environment for effective diplomatic performance in our globalizing society.
Copeland views globalization quite pessimistically, noting that it weakens governments, leads to state failure and is only instrumental to those who can afford the goods it produces. If globalization is creating a bigger need for security and stability, contributing to international development is critical as a means of balancing these threats. The modern diplomat should become a “globalization manager” and embrace “representation reform, the retooling of organizational structure and bureaucratic process, and enlargement of the resource base.” Transformational public diplomacy should be used to inform rather than persuade and spark dialogue that will encourage genuine relationships. Moreover attention should be focused on soft power as an important aspect of using attraction to accomplish TPD.
One of the discussion questions raised by Copeland asks if TPD is suited for application in conflict zones. My reply would be yes, it is during this time of state frailty that international involvement is critical and if carried out correctly can have immense influence upon the relationship between that state, it’s surrounding states and the United States. During times of conflict the world is looking at the US especially to see how it will respond and carry out aid and other needs of the states involved. This is opportune time to incorporate diplomatic efforts with humanitarian efforts in order to portray an appropriate image to the world. Diplomacy will be most efficient if partnered with a commitment to development, and TPD as a contributor to creating stability and resilience can manage the issues that result from globalization and problems of international security.
Daryl Copeland, "Transformational Public Diplomacy, Rethinking Advocacy for the Globalization Age" Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (2009) 5, 97-102
Friday, March 25, 2011
There are two topics that stuck out to me this week. First is the notion that diplomacy is changing and second, the concept of nation branding in the realm of public diplomacy.
Are we all diplomats? The current practice of diplomacy is very wishy-washy in my mind. I have the old sense of diplomatic institutions and lifestyles, but I find that notion changing or one could argue already changed. Diplomacy has an expansive role and has been integrated into many of our own lives. Diplomacy is beginning to be redefined into how we as individual diplomats are helping solve global problems. With our technological advances we each have a greater deal of engagement with the rest of the world.
In Sustainable Public Diplomacy: Communicating about Identity, Interests and terrorism, Anthony Deos and Geoffrey Allen Pigman explain that there are many challenges in the “global environment that have altered the practice of traditionally diplomacy”(154). I think this notion of diplomacy changing is for the better, however one must be careful. I like how the power of diplomacy is now spread out to many individuals, but that also makes it much harder to moderate our diplomatic engagements with the rest of the world.
In terms of nation branding, I am curious how nation branding is built into public diplomacy efforts. The concept of nation branding is fairly new. Simon Anholt, the pioneer of the field, first coined the term ‘nation branding’ in 1998. Anholt, a British marketing consultant, noted that the concept of “country of origin” goes further that places and that nations themselves are brands. Anholt also noted that countries have reputations, which they trying to improve and developing through branding. Now with a global market place, those reputations have much greater significance. Advertising, like TV campaigns is just a small part of the way Nations brand themselves and is all part of their public diplomacy effort. Nation branding is about consistent policies. Anholt believes that “living the brand” and making sure that every government agency is in tune with each other must occur.
Branding can both help and hurt a country. Positive brands can stick with and help a country for a long time, while a country that is branded a ‘rogue’ nation, is very different to undo the damage. Yet, Anholt believes that all of the nation branding in the world won’t help a country that’s selling a poor product.
Countries are hiring media producers to create campaigns about their country. For example, Sherif Sabri, known as the most successful producer of music videos in the Arab world, was hired in 2006 to work on a campaign about Egypt. He stated, “I am branding Egypt.” Egypt, a country with almost 80 million people and known as the land of Pharaohs, is being branded as if they were a product like Coca-Cola or Nike. The campaigns are produced for tourists, investors, and even for Egyptians.
 Eric Weiner. "Consultants Develop Notion of Branding Nations", npr http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5149506.
 Eric Weiner.
 Eric Weiner.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Nick Cull, in Jamming for Uncle Sam: Getting the Best From Cultural Diplomacy, explains the four major types of cultural diplomacy, which include: the prestige gift; cultural information; dialogue and collaboration; and capacity building.
In criticizing Michael Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center, Cull states, “[h]e caricatures cultural diplomacy as ‘sending a symphony orchestra to play for a thousand of the most powerful people in the capital of another nation’ and ignores the true breadth and reach of contemporary cultural diplomacy.” This piece is an important reminder that art can be used to raise awareness of different cultures, promote social cohesion, and strengthen intercultural relations. Art used for diplomacy need not be merely “high culture,” but instead be representative of a culture’s many characteristics in order to create connections between divided societies.
Art can be instrumental in shaping the tone and nature of intercultural relations. But it is important that we understand our target audience. Bluntly speaking, I have very little interest in the symphony orchestra, but I enjoy political art exhibits. Different individuals obviously have differing interests. The advantage of a multifaceted culture, such as ours, is that we have many elements we can utilize for diplomacy.
Furthermore, in one of its latest innovative concepts, the Google Art Project allows people all over the world to explore museums from around the world, and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels. Like never before, individuals will have the ability to explore other nation’s most precious pieces of art and perhaps in this way we can further transformative role art can play in societies.
As opposed to promoting cultural products through the one way, monologue-style communication that is a performance such as a concert, sending an American, for example, to explore an artistic medium in a foreign country avoids evoking notions of cultural hegemony. The benefits of such an approach are two-fold:
1) It validates the country partner
2) It adds to American’s knowledge of the outside world.
In addition to the fact that fusion of culture and creative endeavor is something that enhances both cultures, these support the notion that successful public diplomacy should involve engagement and listening. The collaborative aspect of creating of an end-product ensures that the exchange results in legitimacy and helps build credibility between the two parties.
The prototype of what Kovach advocates follows the scenario of an international jam session that results in a product that is a fusion of the different cultures, which then becomes a tangible cultural product that can be promoted. He gives the example of jazzman Darryl Kennedy, who went to Egypt as a Jazz Ambassador and connected with some local musicians. After jamming with the local group for two months, they cut a joint CD and ended up going on tour in Egypt.
After reading Peter Kovach’s and Richard Arndt’s articles, I thought about how the arts are so often cut first from government budgets and how foolish I think that is. I usually have thought about this in the context of the domestic support of the arts, from funding of the NEA to how much music is offered (if at all) in public schools. While I don’t expect that everyone should become a musician or other kind of artist, I believe that the kind of problem solving and discipline that is inherent in the study of the arts can serve people in many other career paths. I also think that since music and musicians (and other art/ists) so often have the power to bring people together in a mutual language (or offer a way to find a common ground because there are many musical languages), that cutting music and arts essentially burns potential bridges to understanding and communication.
While the budget for the Education and Cultural Arts at the State Department is small, both of these articles also made me think that the success of cultural arts PD programs simply relies on the belief in their strength and the ensuing level of commitment shown by individuals. Their efforts are what makes cultural exchanges work, whether supported by a big budget or not. I completely agree with Kovach’s call to send pop musicians for extended periods of time to play with other musicians as a form of PD as a proven and successful method to encourage collaboration in what he calls the “fusion” century. And in my ideal world, these exchanges would not only be with pop musicians, but also with many other kinds of musics and arts. For example, he mentions that sharing curriculum between university classrooms with virtual meetings as a way for people to connect across cultures. I would extend this to have musicians play together virtually, not only in the classroom, but also live. Having participated in these kinds of events, I have seen how they are exciting, challenging, and a platform for learning. As a performer, you have to be sensitive to the sounds coming not just from the stage you are on, but also from the sounds being projected into the amplifier/speakers in the room from other spaces and countries. Your awareness has to expand as a performer/listener to include the other instruments, as well as the cultural contexts and physical spaces where the other musicians are. I have seen some very interesting pieces performed and/or improvised in this way. Some examples are:
- A woman who does vocal hums where many people from around the world come to join and hum in a meditation style communal California style interactive performance. They usually take place in public spaces such as cafes and people wander in and out and either join in or just listen. (http://www.ecafe.com/webcast/humpr.html)
- A performance of avant-garde computer musicians playing laptop in a concert hall live with other computer musicians at multiple sites.
While these events I mention are a form of citizen (people-to-people) diplomacy, what if formal PD programs got funding to do these kinds of projects, or at least to fund other people doing these kinds of projects? We can leverage all the technology for cultural arts exchanges in a way that does not require a great deal of funding, but even just a gesture of support can inspire most musicians I know to innovate and create innovative and collaborative works that can achieve the kinds of communication and exchange that should be central to PD.
Have you ever heard of Ping-Pong Diplomacy? Well, until I read Out from Under the Proscenium: A Paradigm for U.S. Cultural Diplomacy by Peter Kovach I hadn’t. While explaining the importance of the symbolic subset of cultural diplomacy, Kovach refers to the historical example of ping-pong diplomacy, which occurred in the 1970s prior to former President Nixon and Chairman Mao’s diplomatic opening. The reference to this exchange made me wonder what exactly this event entailed.
Like I stated previously, ping-pong diplomacy refers to one event, the exchange of ping-pong players between the US and the PRC in the 1970s which paved the way for Nixons visit to Beijing. Sports played a very important role in diplomacy in China at that time and the slogan “Friendship First, Competition Second” was often stated. The US table tennis team was the first American sports delegation to go to China since 1949 and the meeting was run by the National Committee on United States-China relations.
At the time of the event, Premier Zhou Enlai noted, "Our table tennis team represents our country and our people.” When the US delegation arrived in China, at the reception Zhou stated, “Your visit has opened the door to friendship between the peoples of the two countries." A few hours after the reception, Nixon then announced the relaxing of the embargo against China.
This one event is known to have restored relations between the two countries. It is amazing how powerful interactions between citizens can be, and that those interactions can then pave the way for government relations. This invitation “opened doors of access” and allowed for dialogue for years to come. Each cultural diplomacy effort create different symbolic importance; yet, by allowing oneself to understand what events create what, nations will be able to continue and prosper in their cultural diplomacy endeavors.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
According to Arndt’s article on the hush hush of cultural diplomacy it seems as though this aspect of diplomacy is being swept under the rug even though its role in PD is an important one. As a student of international communications however, it is hard for me to understand why the US government would not take a stronger stance in putting more money into cultural diplomacy and implementing cultural programs around the world. If this is what many other countries value and are doing, perhaps the US needs to figure out a way to assess what makes up American culture (something that many people actually have a hard time describing) and imitate the rest of the world in portraying that culture proudly as a way to gain mutual respect. One would think that culture would be a foundation for other PD efforts especially when we want to focus on our relationship with high context countries- countries that are more intrigued by ‘who’ a person is than what they do. Cultural factors demonstrate what we find important, and can describe the way we think, which is also important to relationship building with other countries. The first step is recognizing the importance of cultural diplomacy. The second step would be to understand HOW to effectively implement cultural diplomacy around the world. Kovach offers a new way to present ourselves culturally on two levels: human and symbolic.
Monday, March 14, 2011
As anchorman of CBS Evening News, these are the words Walter Cronkite used for decades to conclude his newscasts. Today, the concept behind this catchphrase is obsolete, as nothing in media, especially news broadcasting, remains static for very long. In Media and Globalization, Peter van Ham uses this example to show how media revolutions, most recently the Internet and blogs, are changing the way people inform themselves.
Margaret Meade in her quote, as seen above at the Newseum in Washington DC, highlights the positive in witnessing events as they happen. But, the same characteristics which promote the free flow of information and make our media environment a virtual public sphere, also pull control away from the government. When media control is not monopolized by the state, this decreases their social power, and with it the capacity for agenda-setting. Van Ham describes how the role of media as an avenue of social power is manifested in two ways: states managing and protecting their own information space, and policies to influence the media space of others. Both are affected by new technology and media transformations.
In recognition of these changes, Walter Isaacson in his speech at the 60th anniversary of Radio Free Europe (RFE) advocates taking steps to facilitate the conversations that don’t just disseminate, but share news and ideas. As he begins to patriotically wax poetic about the free flow of information as a driver of tolerance and democracy, ergo American values, he does make several points clear. He thinks credibility is king, so RFE needs to continue to do what it does well through television and radio. He also thinks that it would be foolish to ignore new methods of communication, and that promoting the free flow of information through peer-to-peer sharing, will have a positive affect on credibility, as well.
Napoli looks at how media producers in the past looked at success in reaching audience in terms of simply the number of viewers. Napoli articulates that despite some resistance, audience measurement has evolved to include parameters such as audience participation and engagement with the content.
We discussed in class that all media spaces are not alike, and asked why so many media spaces are lacking international content. Many of the presenters at the conference on March 1st believe in their role as conduits, where they give people access to information. Some of the more traditional journalists made sure to clarify that they were NOT aggregators of information, while some of the hybrid journalists embraced this term. John Sawyer, executive director at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, sees his role as an advocate for issue awareness. He wants to engage the broadest public possible and to fill in gaps in coverage. He funds traditional journalists to report on issues, such as HIV/AIDS in Haiti. He feels this approach gives more credibility and integrity to the reporting. He discussed how news agencies get many stories from independent journalists and he is happy to have the reporting repurposed in multiple contexts. While Sawyer’s work is important, his approach still rests on a one-to-many approach, where the journalist is providing content in a unidirectional way.
On the other side of the spectrum, Wendy Hanamura, General manager of Linktv and VP of viewchange.org, believes the issue is to give audiences a trusted pipeline, or a go-to point, to find stories. She sees her role as a curator of stories. Viewchange is about crowdsourcing, citizen journalism and user-generated content. Her approach seems to embrace the evolution of audience in terms of measuring the success of programming through participatory processes. There are multiple layers to this participation. She demonstrated how the viewchange website is based on semantic, which means that the codewriters look at the context of words and link that context to data in a dynamic way. The site has a “Social Actions API”, which finds action items, and aggregates of actions. For example, if you watch a video on Haiti, you can add a link to the video to your facebook page. There are also links to youtube, wiki and to advocacy. The model encourages not only active collaboration, but also action. The other participatory aspect of this site is that they use open source, so the code is shared and improved in the open source community.
How does all of this relate to PD? In Robert Entman’s article, “Theorizing Mediated Public Diplomacy: The U.S. Case”, Entman looks at a theory of “mediated public diplomacy”, which he defines as “using mass communication (including the internet) to increase support of a country’s specific foreign policies among audiences beyond that country’s borders.” (p.88) His Cascading Network Activation model considers the hierarchies and power structures involved in getting a political message out to both domestic and foreign audiences. He looks at the importance of culture and context in creating effective frames and having a “degree of success” (p.96). He points out in his conclusion that it is hard to create frames that compete effectively in the global media space.
The panelists at the advocacy journalism conference were discussing how to reach audience and how to get messages out to audiences in order to not only inform, but also to encourage collaboration and action. Pulling all of these ideas together I wonder if PD then must become a form of advocacy journalism. While the idea for international broadcasters has been to maintain credibility as practitioners of traditional journalism, perhaps there is room for advocacy journalism, such as viewchange and other groups creating content that can build bridges between people working on similar causes.
1. Entman, Robert M. “Theorizing Mediated Public Diplomacy: The U.S. Case.” The International Journal of Press/Politics 13 (2008): 87-102.
2. Napoli, Philip M. “Toward a Model of Audience Evolution: New Technologies and The Transformation of Media Audiences.” McGannon Center Working Paper Series Paper 15 (July 1, 2008). http://fordham.bepress.com/mcgannon_working_papers/15.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Then, while scrolling through the latest John Brown review, I spotted this article that to me shows what's wrong with the old method of cultural diplomacy. Senior FSO Patricia Kushlis critiques the placement of the US ambassador to the UK's American art collection--not just his own private collection, but works from museums, galleries and other sources, procured through the State Department's Art in Embassies program. While she notes that the collection is impressive, she wonders--rightfully, I think--why it has not been made more accessible to the public. Here's a great opportunity to showcase some of the best of American art--which according to Kushlis is hard to come by in major museums in London--and it's staying in the Susmans' residence, only to be seen by those who get invited there for events. Kushlis doesn't suggest that the residence be opened to the public, since security has been tight in residences even since before 9/11. (John Brown felt it was more feasible--see his lively discussion with Kushlis in the comments.) but that a public-private sector initiative be started that places a permanent collection of art in a well-known London gallery, complete with room for temporary exhibitions and other programs about American art and culture. She argues that this could be a step in the right direction for a better U.S. pavilion at the next World Expo, in Milan in 2016: "...it seems to me that both are important enough in terms of American image building among the public and the elite groups –in a non-propagandist way – to be taken seriously and handled right."
I completely agree with Kushlis' suggestion, and would even take it one step further by implementing some of Kovach's ideas in the process. Perhaps the PAO/CAO in London, and/or the consulates in Edinburgh and Belfast, could establish partnerships between young American and British artists, including long-term exchanges with the best art programs at universities in both countries. The emphasis, as Kovach stated, would be on co-creation, with the aim of showcasing their work in temporary exhibitions--including at that London gallery at which Kushlis suggests the permanent American art collection could be housed. Hopefully, these collaborations could lead to long-term partnerships and a better understanding of both countries--especially important in the case of the UK, our closest ally. (It could of course be implemented in other countries as well.) In order to get "out from under the proscenium" as Kovach says, we need more creativity and energy in our cultural diplomacy, and breathing life into our art programs would be a great place to start.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
What's interesting however, is that the means is not necessarily the most important part of this battle. It has all become one big cyber race for the hearts and minds of the public... the more people you can reach with a credible message, the higher you rank. Yet this perfect formula of media and message is one to be discovered.... at least for the benefit of the United States. As the means of global media and IT connectivity change, we must understand these new patterns in order to have a leg up on influencing the "international political climate." If technology and media is a contributing factor driving foreign policy, there must be guidelines put in place on how the government will understand and interpret the spread of this news and information.
Media is such an important tool to understand because it determines what issues the public will focus on and deem most important. It plays a role in the shaping of all politics, a form of social power that the US must master in order to be a relevant participant in today's international power struggle.
van Ham, Peter. "Media and Globalization." In Social Power.
Friday, March 4, 2011
It is no question that the United States is in an ongoing battle with International broadcasting. Many questions remains on how to fix this initiative that many Americans don’t even know about. I was curious and I asked a few friends what they knew of the United States’ International broadcasting programs and organizations and if they new what it was called. I asked four friends, all of which graduated from private well-known universities with degrees that did not have to do with International relations. I was amazed. Only two of the four could even name VOA, and all stated that our international broadcasting was in the Middle East and they were not sure if it was anywhere else. How can International Broadcasting get more funding, more personnel, if Americans don’t even know its out there and its importance?
In remarks given by President of RFE in 2010, Jeffrey Gedmin states: “I realized that in an age of satellites and in an age of the flow of information, those regimes that required the repression of information were going to lose.”[i] However, I think the US is also loosing. Gedmin sees Voice of America as a way to stay a step ahead of those that repress the free flow of information. I agree with Gedmin. He also notes though that the United States is currently in a struggle against repression and intolerance, but I think that intolerance is also in the United States. He notes we must create global communities, but I think Americans are too often left out. To create these global communities we must involve Americans as well which right now is not possible because of the Smith-Mundt Act.
By involving more Americans in International Broadcasting and making them more aware of its existence and actual goals, it might be able to receive more funding which I believe would make a difference ( if the money was used correctly) The committee on foreign relations 2010 report, “U.S International Broadcasting:--Is anybody Listening?—Keeping the U.S. Connected”, notes that marketing is a necessary component and that there is a cost that comes with reaching and maintain audiences.[ii] I thought it was just incredible that Radio Free Asia is supposed to reach a population of over 1 billion people, but its marketing budget for 2009 was less than $2000. With a small budget like that, there is no way it can reach its full potential. Overall, I think to improve our International broadcasting we must get more Americans involved which will allow for more funding, and hence, more success.