Yonas Biru

Yonas Biru, PhD

After the September 11, 2001, attack in the US homeland, public diplomacy became a “top priority” of U.S. foreign policy. In an excellent 2005 article in the Institute for Policy Studies, John Gershman and R.S. Zaharna took note that “The perceptions of foreign audiences have domestic consequences, and public diplomacy, a government’s tool for communicating with foreign publics and changing negative perceptions, quickly became the buzz in Washington after the attacks.”

The two authors further added: “Fighting information battles by disseminating messages over mass media channels has become the communication equivalent of conventional warfare… Controlling the airwaves through saturation [of information]to effectively isolate and discredit the opponent. A government’s persuasive power rested on quantity rather than quality of information; volume was more important than credibility.” I…

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