Public Diplomacy and International Politics: The Symbolic Constructs of Summits and International Radio News

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 197 pages

This book examines international radio news coverage of the four superpower summit meetings between Soviets and Americans from 1987 to 1990. It concentrates on the symbolic constructs used by radio services to report about the summits, including their treatments of the two superpowers, their leaders, and their perspectives as recorded in interviews, press conferences and releases, joint communiques, and briefings. The study assesses the degree of success enjoyed by each of the superpowers in directing the nature of international news coverage, particularly the public relations battle between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan. It also weighs the viability of specific talking points written to direct U.S. summit statements by the National Security Council, and the degree to which news coverage was tainted by propaganda. Finally, it is able to suggest the nature of each service's contribution to diversity in international news flow, and to the ongoing debate about the equality of the international communication and information order.

 

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Contents

International Broadcasting as Public Diplomacy
17
Symbolic Constructs in International
37
The 1987 Washington Superpower Summit
55
The 1988 Moscow Superpower Summit
77
The 1989 Summits
113
The 1990 Washington Superpower Summit
135
Trends in News Coverage
143
Symbolic Constructs and Historical
163
Treatment Coefficients for NSC Themes
173
Treatment Coefficients for Summit Principals
175
Index
191
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About the author (1994)

ROBERT S. FORTNER is Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has also written International Communication: History, Conflict, and Control of the Global Metropolis (1993). He has taught at Northwestern University, Drake University, the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and The George Washington University, where he was founding chair of the Department of Communication. He has done international research for the BBC, VOA, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and has served as a panel member on VOA satellite broadcasting for the National Research Council.

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