Twitter Diplomacy?

An interesting piece in the New York Times magazine about the US State Department's efforts to modernize diplomacy through the use of social networking. From the article:

...the State Department was still boxed into the world of communiqués, diplomatic cables and slow government-to-government negotiations, what [State Department Advisor Alec] Ross likes to call 'white guys with white shirts and red ties talking to other white guys with white shirts and red ties, with flags in the background, determining the relationships.' And then Hillary Clinton arrived. 'The secretary is the one who unleashed us,' Ross says. 'She’s the godmother of 21st-century statecraft.'

Advertisement

The article goes on to describe the benefits (the Red Cross raised $40 million via text messages following the earthquake) and drawbacks (it's not just pro-American organizations that use this technology) of social media. Even though there may be serious obstacles in implementing Twitter and Facebook into our national security's strategic plan, it is good to know that the State Department is attempting to meet people where they are. That is, people today communicate online, in short phrases, and rather than lament short attention spans and the demise of good reporiting, Secretary Clinton seems to be embracing the new reality.

And perhaps somewhat surprisingly, many in the church seem to have gotten the hang of this as well. I think of Catholic TV, the Boston-based programming provider, that puts their well-produced content online, and offers an iPhone app, as well as several other platforms for consumers. Content remains king, of course, (and the church has always had compelling content), but kudos to those groups that are finding new ways to distribute that content.

Michael O'Loughlin

 

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Michael Laing
7 years 10 months ago
On the other hand the content of 140 pages probably gets lost just as effectively and can hide a lot of political doublespeak.  Maybe reducing communications to 140 characters would keep things on track and to the point.
ed gleason
7 years 10 months ago
David Smith ;; at only four characters...."nuts'  was an effective communication/answer to the German demand for surrender at Bastogne Belgium Dec. 1944.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Baroque Trinity, Hendrick van Balen, 1620, (Sint-Jacobskerk, Antwerp)
God simply is a triad of love: a going out in love, a return in love and thus, ever more, love itself.
Terrance KleinMay 23, 2018
The leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump, administration officials and members of Congress.
Altar servers lead a Palm Sunday procession March 25 in Youtong, in China's Hebei province. (CNS photo/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)
The pope appeared to be alluding to the fact that since February there has been a crackdown by the Chinese authorities on religion in the mainland.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 23, 2018
Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo in Rome, May 2. The three met Pope Francis individually at the Vatican April 27-29. The Vatican announced on May 22 that a second group of abuse victims will visit the pope in June (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
The encounters will take place from June 1-3 at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018