DIALOGUE ON DIPLOMACY | How effective is media’s coverage of U.S. diplomacy abroad?

Nicholas Kralev is an author and expert on diplomacy, world affairs and global travel. He hosts the weekly program “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”

Kralev interviewed P.J. Crowley on a retired Air Force colonel and National Security Council spokesman in the Clinton White House. Crowley now teaches at George Washington University.

On Kralev’s program, Crowley talks about how the media covers diplomacy. They also talked about the Arab Spring as a case study of the effectiveness of U.S. diplomacy. Crowley discusses the Obama administration’s pursuit of an “aiding the enemy” charge against Army Private Bradley Manning and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is also charged with releasing classified information.

Does the media do a good job of covering diplomacy, as opposed to foreign news? “Yes,” Crowley says. “It’s not just American media. The daily press briefings at State Department and the White House briefing have a core domestic audience and an international audience. What the U.S. says matters. It is a key voice in the world. Global media, including domestic media, is a key channel to how the U.S. communicates.”

Crowley was the administration’s main spokesman on the WikiLeaks cables’ release in the fall of 2010, which he repeatedly condemned. In March 2011, he stepped down after publicly expressing a personal opinion. “I said the treatment was counterproductive, because it was undermining what otherwise is a very important prosecution,” he recalls.

This dialogue is an object lesson about how diplomacy depends fundamentally on candor, not primarily on confidentiality.

About Randy Gener

CultureofOneWorld.org is a U.S. media project devoted to global politics, public diplomacy, cultural issues, innovative art projects and international reporting in the public interest. Its founder, Randy Gener, is a New York–based editor, writer, critic, dramatist and installation artist. He has been an entertainment reporter for The New York Daily News, a features writer for The Star Ledger, an "Arts & Leisure" writer for the New York Times, a theater critic for Time Out New York, and a staff contributor at The Village Voice, where he was an arts critic from 1991 to 2004. He contributes to NPR (National Public Radio), Miami Herald and The Global Post. His 12 years as Senior Editor of American Theatre magazine earned him the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the Society of Professional Journalists’ Deadline Club Award for Best NYC Arts Reporting, and NLGJA Journalist of the Year.

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