Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication
Media and U.S. Governance
November 9 - 13, 2009
From November 9th to November 13th, 2009 the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication hosted a distinguished delegation from China's State Information Council. The week-long program on Media and U.S. Governance, the third of its kind, focused on how the American government presents its message to the public (through traditional and new media alike) and how the public responds to that message. Sean Aday and Frank Sesno, IPDGC and School of Media and Public Affairs directors, respectively, served as hosts, preparing a dynamic agenda that combined classroom training with on-site visits. Featured lectures by George Washington University faculty included "U.S. Politics and News Media" by Dr. Robert Entman and "The Fourth Estate and Watchdog Journalism" by Dr. Mark Feldstein. Site visits were an integral part of the program, as visitors had the exclusive opportunity to meet Ian Kelly, Spokesperson for the Department of State (see below) and to speak with USDA officials on the role of media in containing the H1N1 virus. Other highlights included on-camera training sessions which allowed official spokespeople to refine their message delivery capabilities and test out their newly acquired skills in front of the camera. Perhaps the greatest indicator of a successful week was the robust question and answer sessions which demonstrated the delegation's genuine interest in public diplomacy and stressed the need for mutual understanding and cooperation.