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The sensational revelations of a secret U.S. program to monitor global communications.

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The former consultant of the powerful U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Mr. Edward Snowden is the source of sensational revelations about a secret U.S. program to monitor global communications. The case around the U.S. intelligence agency Mr. Edward Snowden made ​​waves all around the world especially in Europe. (1)

 

The system used by USA to spy the world via technological communications – espionage, has blur Trans atlantics relations. The European Union (UE) has angered and public opinion called for a temporary suspension of negotiations between the EU and the United States on a free trade agreement, because of revelations about spying on Americans in Europe.

 

The case of espionage in European, Asian and others by the United States has caused countries indignant reactions of the political class and public opinion throughout the media. While the case looks like a political crisis on both sides of the Atlantic

 

The crisis takes place after the incident when Bolivian President regains La Paz (capital city of Bolivia) but the aircraft was forced to land in Vienna. America and allies are believed that Bolivian President to have brought Edward Snowden with him that the reason several European countries had banned the aircraft to fly over their airspace (2).

 

The non-respectability of diplomacy and on name of the principle that of all states are equal, the unfair decision Europeans sates when Bolivian President Evo Morales, from Moscow, had to make a forced call 13 hours in Vienna after several European countries had banned the aircraft to fly over their airspace. “Bolivia says European nations ‘kidnapped’ Evo Morales in hunt for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden”(4).  But the assertion that Edward Snowden was aboard the presidential plane was denied by La Paz and the authorities at the airport in Vienna, after Austrian police came to control aboard the aircraft after its occupants had left, in agreement with the pilot and Evo Morales, but the plane was searched, because there was no legal reason for a search,

It is a historical incident also provocation against Bolivia and throughout Latin America. “Bolivia accused European nations of an ‘act of aggression’ for refusing to allow the plane of its President Evo Morales’ to travel in their airspace because of rumors that the US fugitive, Edward Snowden, was on board”(4). The diplomatic imbroglio occurred a few hours after Mr. Morales said on the sidelines of a visit to Moscow that his country was ready to host the fugitive wanted by the United States, which he now in a refugee airport in Moscow.

While disturbing revelations because of the espionage that the European Union was a victim from the U.S. Secret Service, many individuals are in favor of a significant European reaction. Several wish including the suspension of controversial trade negotiations. (3)

 

Nevertheless President Morales received the support of its allies in Latin America. But other side

the United States said have good hope that the ex-consultant of the NSA returned to the United States to face judgment.

In conclusion, Snowden has and will undermined employing young Americans in similar post and has done unprecedented harm to National Security and undermined American Diplomatic standings around the World and what has he gained!!! No one man’s rights is greater than that of a Nation

 

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Bibliography

1 .BBC News, US castigates Russia over NSA leaker Edward Snowden on 13 July 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe [Accessed on 02/07/2013]

 

2. Daily mail online news, Monday, 3 July 2013, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2.354169. [Accessed on 02/07/2013]

 

3. Global Post America’s world site, on July 3, 2013 http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130703. [Accessed on 04/07/2013]

 

4. The Independent News, by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson , Brussels, Thursday 04 July 2013 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/bolivia. [Accessed on 11/07/2013]

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The sensational revelations of a secret U.S. program to monitor global communications.

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The sensational revelations of a secret U.S. program to monitor global communications.

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The sensational revelations of a secret U.S. program to monitor global communications.

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Citizen Journalism and Professional Journalism: Ordinary people using social media to make journalism

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Citizen Journalism and Professional Journalism: Ordinary people using social media to make journalism

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Citizen Journalism and Professional Journalism: Ordinary people using social media to make journalism

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The emergence of new social networks means that new sources of information are available on the web.
Citizen journalists are non-professional journalists working in communication by using tools such as the Internet (1). In fact, citizen journalism has developed with the spread of the Internet and its tools such as blogging, social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Wikileaks in order to publish their owner articles and expresses their own opinion to the public. Nowadays the Internet is used by citizen not only to receive the information, but also increasingly as a way to transmit information. “The internet has changed the relationship between journalists and audiences from a one way-way, asymmetric model of communication to a more participatory and collective system, where citizen have the ability to participate in the news production process” (Hermida A. May 2010). (2)

Traditional journalists have also begun to use Facebook page and Twitter account in order to inform and to express their views. This can be argued as the era of online journalism, strongly because of globalisation that is today a multidimensional phenomenon; therefore information technologies are growing in all aspects of our lives. Noam Chomsky has described such shift of globalisation as ‘just international integration’.

However, the digital revolution the globalisation phenomenon has implications in new media. Citizen journalism -‘amateur’ has in fact its limitations. Just to mentioning one, journalism is considered as a job with its rules and ethics thus it cannot be improvised through ordinary people without any relative qualification. From this point of view, the citizen journalism is an unprofessional journalism and therefore worked with lack of objectivity on information. That is to say that nowadays, every citizen is free to give his own opinion through social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Skype etc.
The citizen journalists are users who publish what they see and what they live day to day. “social media have grown more complex. Slowly, quietly, the mainstream media have become, for many involved in activism, politics and journalism itself, a secondary source of information, while social networks have become the primary source”. (Paul Mason P, February 2013) (3)

However they only deliver raw data and not always verified. But with the social networks that offer new constraints to the journalist – the constraints of the proximity of readers – general they are all connected within the same network of information distribution.
Most citizen journalists define themselves as freedom activists, exercising an active role to inform people without censure. But the proliferation of non-professional journalists causes an upheaval in the news media including fundamental differences compared to professional journalists that in general are working with a higher degree of professionalism compared to citizen journalists who are often very partial and not credible. “the credibility of this information is difficult to verify “depending on where it’s from, to whom it’s attributed, (and) especially when various events are happening very quickly.” (Manneh, Suzanne M. 25, 2012). (4)
The fundamental difference between citizen journalism and professional journalism is based on freedom of expression and writing, because the professional journalism are general working for media groups belonging to industries and financial companies which the fist object is to protect their own interests.

1. http://www.cbsnews.com
By Hillary Profita/ CNET March31, 2006
‘Outside Voice: Samuel Freedman On The Difference Between The Amateur And The Pro’.

2.SSRN. Social Science Research Network- Tomorrow research’s Today http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pappers.cfm
University of British Columbia-School of Journalism, April 30. 2010
Media/Culture Journal. Vol. 13, No. 2, May 2010
By Alfred Hermida. ‘From TV to Twitter: How Ambient News Become Ambient Journalism’

3.The Guardian, From Arab spring to revolution
Paul Mason, The Guardian, Tuesday 5 February 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/Feb/05/arab-spring-global-revolution.

4. Pew research center’s for project for excellence in journalism. http://www.journalism.org/analysis, Arab-American Media. The Role of social media in Arab uprising, November 28, 2012
By Manneh, Suzanne. E-mail correspondence with PEJ. Oct. 25, 2012.

The US Hip-Hop Diplomacy

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The word “culture” expresses complex features that characterise a social group; language, arts, music, history, customs, traditions and lifestyle. In other words, it is culture through which we get to know other social groups or nations.
The US State Department denotes culture as the “linchpin of public diplomacy”. Indeed the culture of the United States has played a vital role in building their image throughout the world. American art, movies, literature and dances proved to be influential throughout the world and managed to attract millions of people, yet culture as a political tool has been somehow undermined. However, the recent events, commencing the War on Terror wrecked American image significantly. Ever since the recent events, commencing the War on Terror, wrecked America’s image, and antipathy towards America surpassed American popularity the US government has been using any available tool to repair what has been broken (1).

Similarly as in the Cold War, when the USA used its most prominent Jazz musicians as Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gilespie to improve the relations with non-aligned countries, the US government reached for music to improve its image again (2). The so called “jambassadors” from Cold War were replaced by Muslim Hip-Hop envoys that have been touring around Middle East and Africa with one aim; to help improve the broken American image.

As well as performing on the stage, the Hip-Hop ambassadors hold workshops in order to promote democracy and equality. Those who are adherents of Islam speak about a life of being a Muslim in the US (3).

Indeed hip-hop has proven to be powerful even in the Arab Spring. Ever since the revolutions began, North African artists have written a number of songs that represent the situation in their countries.

However, choosing hip-hop to promote America carries some irony within. While hip-hop has been blamed for promoting violence, disrespect towards women and consumerism within US, it is supposed to boost America’s image abroad and possibly improve its national security (4).
The strategy itself remains a bit blurry. Is an artist who is of African-American origin of a Muslim faith supposed to de-radicalise Middle Eastern youth and motivate them to look upon the USA as a role model of democracy and equality?
It seems that the US still does not get it. Muslims around the world do not blame the US for a lack of diversity within their country. They criticize America for the lack of coherency between their foreign policy actions and between what they claim to promote, democracy and freedom (5).

The connection between hip-hop and American diplomacy has been a subject of discussions among musicians too. Scepticism and negative opinions have been expressed. Maybe we should prevent the little that has not been influenced by power politics. Maybe music should remain music and its only purpose should be to entertain.

(1) (The U.S. Department of State (2005) Report of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy, pp.1-2.)

(2) Aidi, H. (2011) The Grand (Hip-Hop) Chessboard; Race, Hip-Hop and Raison d’Etat, Middle East Report, pp. 26-27

(3) Aidi, H. (2011) Leveraging Hip Hop in US Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2011/10/2011103091018299924.html (accessed 16.5.2013)

(4) Sullivan, C. (2003), Why hip-hop must take its share of blame for spread of violence among teenagers, Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/jan/06/arts.politics, (accessed 17.5.2013)
(5) Rashid, Q. (2012) Why Muslims Hate America, Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/qasim-rashid/why-muslims-hate-america_b_1905081.html

(6) 2011, The US Government’s Hip Hop Diplomacy in the Middle East, Black Youth Project, http://www.blackyouthproject.com/2011/11/us-gov-hip-hop-diplomacy/ (accessed 17.5.2013)

Youth & Public Diplomacy: Cutting Europeanism short.

Since 2012, budget-cutting measures are being applied to EU study exchange programmes as a consequence of new austerity policies adopted by the European Parliament. Spain particularly opted for a 60% cut – around 21.5 million euros – on Spanish Erasmus students financing.

For those who aren’t aware of it, Erasmus is the leading European student exchange programme. Established in 1987, it was designed to promote mobility between university students of the 33 EU participating countries. So far over 3 million students have taken part in the scheme, enjoying long term benefits of such a life boosting opportunity. Learning a new language, creating social, academic and professional international networks are some of the main benefits young participants have highlighted.  The Guardian journalist Oltermann went as far as praising the scheme for its romantic potential of getting Europeans of diverse nationalities together, so contributing to a future pan-European society.

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In the light of such valuable outcomes, it is puzzling to witness the European Commission’s discussions on applying cuts to the educational sector. The Erasmus programme has been specifically targeted, with plans of detracting around €2.5 billion, around fifteen per cent, from its overall budget.

So what is happening to those post- Maastricht Eurocrats, who have been working so hard over the past two decades, in the name of Europeanism? Is it already time for the ‘I told you so!’ moment Euro-sceptics have been longing for?

Cultural diplomacy might not have been a priority on the EU agenda, as matters of trade, environment and foreign policy are. However, to cite Giles Scott-Smith, exchange programmes “inescapably operate within the broader political environment of international affairs” (2009), and should not be regarded merely as an apolitical, social experience, but more than just that.

The U.S.A. have long invested in cultural exchange programmes, well aware of their potential for creating new channels of communication within new communities; links with  institutions, and change in notions of identity and interests. The Fulbright Program remains the milestone of American educational diplomacy since 1946, involving over 155 countries in a web of international relations. And despite having undergone ups and downs in Federal funding, it still remains a priority on the governmental agenda, with President Obama recently requesting around $75.7 million in funding for International Education and Foreign Language Studies (IEFLS) programs.

International cooperation requires a certain degree of cross-cultural understanding and affinity in order for common goals to be pursued or achieved, and American political scientist Joseph Nye was one of the first to officially recognize the underlining effects of cohesion in foreign policy making.

In the light of soft power discourse, educational exchanges are important tools of global public diplomacy. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton words finely outlined exchange programme’s benefits, as they “foster leadership, intellectual achievement and innovation, and promote mutual understanding and respect between our cultures.” Once again the EU has failed to learn a lesson from younger sibling America, truly lacking that capacity of foresight. Rushing into action by cutting on the Erasmus scheme is, in the long run, neglecting goals of Europe’s future cohesion and unity.