Communicating with the World of Islam

Communicating with the World of Islam

Editor: A. Ross Johnson   Author: George P. Shultz
ISBN: 978-0-8179-4822-1
Publication Date: 5/12/2008
Pages: 74

Western broadcasts had a remarkable impact in the USSR and Eastern Europe during the cold war reaching both mass audiences and key elites. The effectiveness of these broadcasts was clearly attested to by the massive resources the communist regimes spent in trying to counter them.

Communicating with the World of Islam draws from the lessons learned in the cold war broadcasting experience to suggest the best ways of organizing U.S. efforts to communicate with Islamic people around the globe.

Drawn from discussions at the seminar "Communicating with the Islamic World," sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, this report examines the impact of the Voice of America, Radio Liberty, the BBC, Radio Free Europe, and other broadcasting tools had and suggests how the United States can use these instruments today to counter extremism effectively, promote democracy, and improve understanding of the United States in the Islamic world.

It details current broadcasting efforts into Islamic countries and the Muslim communities of Europe and explains each of the critical factors necessary to influence the world of Islam in a positive direction, such as stressing women's content programming, maintaining pressure on the rulers of Qatar over the content and programming of Al Jazeera, and keeping news content candid, tailored to local audiences, and unsparingly accurate.

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A. Ross Johnson

Ross Johnson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, adviser to the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Archive Project at Hoover, senior adviser to the president of RFE/RL, and senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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George P. Shultz

George Pratt Shultz has had a distinguished career in government, academia, and the world of business. He is one of two individuals to have held four different federal cabinet posts; has taught at three of this country’s great universities; and for eight years was president of a major engineering and construction company. Shultz was sworn in on July 16, 1982, as the sixtieth US secretary of state, serving until January 20, 1989.

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