In today's high-tech world, American diplomacy must seek not only to persuade diplomats but ordinary people as well through more widespread use of TV and radio.
That's according to native Utahn Tom Korologos, chairman of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy."Satellite TV and digital technologies now compel presidents and policymakers to win the support of people in other countries, as well as their governments," Korologos said as the commission released its annual report and recommendations to President Clin-ton.
Korologos and the commission recommend several changes to the government's information-spreading activities abroad, including phasing out old short-wave services such as Radio Free Europe and using more television and AM/FM radio.
The commission said, "Television is now the primary source of news and information in most of the world. Effective use of the medium is critical to the future of U.S. international broadcasting."
That includes, it said, more native-language TV programs aimed at "emerging democracies, especially programs in Russian and Ukrainian."
The commission also said, "Instant global communication compels diplomats and policymakers to act in `real time"' with their communications. So the U.S. government needs to better plan its activities and cut out unneeded programs to allow that.
The commission said TV Marti to Cuba, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and a radio relay station in Israel should all be canceled as too costly without providing enough benefits - and money from the savings used for other TV and public diplomacy programs.
The group also recommended more funding for Fulbright scholarships and other international exchange programs.