As always, the student presentations on the readings yesterday were stimulating, and, just as predictably, there was so much deeper and wider we could have gone on the expansive space of the so-called “middle powers.” I wanted to share two more examples of PD where states in the “middle” space pursue national and ‘mutual diplomatic’ interests (as the Evan Potter reading points out). They are both in the broadcasting realm.
One is Radio Netherlands (http://www.rnw.nl/english ). Every time I hear one of their reports, I learn about a different perspective on one cultural or political slice of “news” and I always feel better informed, even though I understand that there is a connection to the Dutch government, which has its national interest, communication strategy, and this or that radio program as a tactic.
The other example comes out of the US-based programming of National Public Radio. It bears on last evening’s discussion of Mexico (Rivas, 2011) and place branding/identity. NPR’s Steve Inskeep is doing a series called “Borderland” (e.g., http://www.npr.org/2014/03/19/291475061/grito-the-longest-shout-youll-hear-today-with-a-history ). Some of the broadcasts are complimentary of Mexico and US-Mexican border cooperation, others not-so-much. Regardless, they get me thinking. ‘Remember a comment one student made last week (when we were discussing sub-state diplomacy) after traveling over spring break to one part of Mexico where security is not an issue? A retired diplomat/dear friend who served in Juarez about a decade ago and is also listening to this series mentioned that Juarez may still be experiencing a lot of crime and corruption but is doing much better these days.
So, I’ll keep lobbying my family to gather south of the border, sending them links to credible, well-evidenced reports. Perhaps they will at least reconsider what they are reading in the mass media. I welcome your thoughts on Radio Netherlands, Mexico, and other topics of a “middle power” nature 🙂 .