Friday, November 19, 2010

Speaking of "framing" II

Remember my post from two days ago on Russia Today's counter-PD campaign about America's "democracy promotion"? As promised, here are the next "episodes" of the series. Please note the open reference to Ukraine (vs. the NPR piece from Wednesday).

It's all about interests, perspectives, and framing. Since the major issue of concern (the "right" frame of choice) for the American public at the moment is the economic well-being of the country, here's a look at democracy-building from the financial perspective:

And then, here is a point often made by Kremlin:

Of course, the size (and the characteristics) of the RT audience - especially within the U.S. - is very questionable. And yet, they are out there raising what seem to be pretty legitimate questions. Most importantly, they're not the only ones to do so. After all, it's all about perspective, framing, and perception.

So how does the U.S. overcome what is sure to be selective perception of such issues in many parts of the world? How do USAID and NED (and many others) respond to such arguments? Discarding them as unreasonable or ignoring them altogether will only undermine American credibility abroad. This is a major public diplomacy challenge, especially in this case, where framing and preconceptions matter and the American formulation is far from being the only one "out there".

More to come - just as promised.

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