Selected Commentary:

“Media & Trump: Flipping the Orwell Narrative.” News Decoder
The opening pages of George Orwell’s novel “1984” acquaint the reader with the Two Minutes Hate, a daily ritual profoundly effective at unleashing anger, derision and obscenities from the audience.

“Settle Down. New Legislation Didn’t Create Trump TV.” The CPD Blog
The headlines were ominous: “Trump to inherit state-run TV network with expanded reach.” “Donald Trump to gain total control of US public broadcasting networks.” “Trump TV could really be a thing… and on the government’s dime.” Such language was misleading and overblown.

“U.S. ‘Flyover Country’ Sends Election Signal.” News Decoder
Exit polls from West Virginia’s presidential primary this month revealed a surprise: Many voters who had opted for Democrat Bernie Sanders said that, should he fail to win his party’s nomination, they would likely support Republican Donald Trump in November’s U.S. election.

“La Plus Ça Change…” The CPD Blog
Worries about ineffective U.S. government response to foreign propaganda campaigns and calls for coherent, coordinated and compelling American messaging are growing.

“How Community Service Can Help Educate Journalism Students.” PBS MediaShift
Since 2010, I’ve been teaching a graduate class in Indiana University’s Journalism program, requiring that students complete 20 hours of service work in the community as part of their final grade. The reaction from students has been powerful.

“The JET Program and the U.S.-Japan Relationship.” The Diplomat
As official Washington prepares for the late April visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his scheduled address to a joint session of Congress, many aspects of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Japan will rightly be feted, including a robust strategic alliance and significant economic ties between the two nations.

“Fixing America’s Voice to Enhance Foreign Policy.” The Conversation
One of the US federal government’s most notoriously troubled agencies, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), suffered a serious public relations setback in early March when its newly hired CEO, Andrew Lack, quit after only 42 days in the position.

“Is U.S. ‘Stuck on Stupid’ on Ebola Outbreak?” USA Today
Let the finger pointing begin! With the appearance of a second domestically transmitted case of Ebola in Dallas, all parties involved — local, state and national — are staking out their territory, assuming defensive positions to explain their performance (or lack thereof) in the midst of growing concern about the stateside Ebola outbreak.

“Smith-Mundt Reform: In with a Whimper?” Columbia Journalism Review Online
Last spring, there was a spate of commentary about Congressional efforts to relax the domestic dissemination ban on content produced for foreign audiences by US government-sponsored broadcasters. Imposed by a series of amendments to the US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act, they prevented the likes of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia from being distributed in the United States.

“Dial Back the Outrage.” Columbia Journalism Review Online
I frequently teach a large introductory class titled “Foundations of Journalism and Mass Communication.” One section of the course addresses international news in the United States as well as global media trends and public diplomacy issues. At one point, I usually ask the class of 160 undergraduates how many of them have heard of Voice of America. The answer is always the same: very few.

Selected Research:

With Jing Su. “Friends from Afar? American Media Coverage of China’s Confucius Institutes.” Journalism Practice.

“Institutions of Higher Education as Public Diplomacy Tools: China-Based University Programs for the 21st Century.” Journal of Studies in International Education.

With Xinyu Lu. “Tweeting the Pivot? The United States and PD 2.0 in Northeast Asia.” Place Branding & Public Diplomacy.

With Bill Hornaday. “Leaving It There: The Hutchins Commission & Modern American Journalism.” Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

“The Chinese Media Reciprocity Act, Public Diplomacy and the U.S.-China Relationship.” Place Branding & Public Diplomacy.

With Kaitlyn Sill and Stella Rouse. “Media Coverage of the Supreme Court: How Do Journalists Assess the Importance of Court Decisions?” Political Communication.

“Is It the Medium or the Message? Social Media, American Public Diplomacy & Iran.” Global Media Journal.

“Public Diplomacy, Smith-Mundt & the American Public.” Communication Law & Policy.