Donors for Scholarship Fund

Currently, some friends and myself are developing our own organization. It is a scholarship fund and our target is African American males who are matriculating from high school to college. The tradition of communication this would fall under would definitely be empowerment. Often times, it is difficult for African American families to send their child to school because they don’t have the funding. Our goal is to assist with that journey. Our aim is to promote the growth of young African American males through mentorship, academic support, and service learning and to empower our future leaders.

Under the Waisbord’s “family tree” of development perspectives, social marketing will best fit the theme of my organization. Market segmentation is very important with the social marketing strategy and our target audience is very specific so it will be easy to expand. The idea of having a scholarship fund for young black males is socially relevant, considering the great amount of media, political, and social attention that is directed to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to Waisbord, the exchange model is embedded within the social marketing development communication strategy. Our hope is for voluntary exchanges through donors for the scholarship fund. The main development need for the project is donors. In order to raise money and gain donors for the fund, candidates for the scholarship could compete in an oratorical contest. This way, they could showcase their talent and donors would get an opportunity to see the very important cause their money is going to.

The concept here is to network and bring possible donors together for the fund and to showcase the purpose of what the scholarship is about. Since it is still in its start-up stage, it will also raise awareness of the scholarship. This will be done through our social media Facebook, Twitter, and our webpage. We will also team up with other notable NGO’s in the area related to education to get the word out about our scholarship fund.

Our hope for the future is to create an exchange program where we can send students overseas during the summer to gain cross-cultural experiences through foreign language or STEM programs.



Censorship on Public Diplomacy and Media Messages

The Internet is a great vehicle for public diplomacy and I would even argue the most significant platform used to promote a nation’s interests abroad. Often times it is information posted on embassy sites, whether cultural or informational, that give people insight on the views of a particular country within the borders of their host country. However, some countries have a skewed view of other nations based on Internet governance with strict censorship laws. Whenever a country has to deal with someone’s opposing opinions on touchy topics such as (but aren’t limited to) political views, culture and history, and human rights of another nation *cough* China *cough cough* they block it so it never gets the opportunity of entering the minds of their citizens.

I hate to talk about China, but who doesn’t think of this country as soon as someone says censorship? China’s censorship acts as an impenetrable force that doesn’t allow specific outside influences to be absorbed by the minds of their citizens. Unless they’re exposed to the free-flow of information on the Internet from other countries, than as far as China and may other heavily censored nations, public diplomacy efforts are going to waste.

It’s the same for media censorship in China. There are certain media outlets that are deemed “potentially dangerous” and can’t be viewed, especially during times of controversy. Bloomberg news and the New York Times are some of the many media outlets that have been blocked due to articles about government leaders that could lead citizens to question what kind of people are leading them. Even social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are not allowed to be accessed. Foreign correspondents often deal with the hassle of getting permission before they can even enter the country. China fears exposure and sensitive subjects like corruption so they control what international journalists say. If the correspondents somehow manage to get into China, restrictions are often placed on their reporting style, the government tries to intimidate them, and sometimes they’re placed under surveillance so the government can keep an eye on what it is they’re trying to report.

The value of public diplomacy and media/journalism decreases when it’s censored by other nations. Heavy censorship is a form of Internet governance that impacts the effectiveness of public diplomacy and media/journalism. If China and countries alike don’t loosen their grip on censorship and how they use it to “protect” their citizens from outside influences, in time it may cause even bigger problems within the country.

Increase of Technology Leads to Decrease in Sovereignty

Question: Do you think the globalization of communication flows has, perhaps counter-intuitively, prompted the *increased* relevance of the nation-state as international actor? Or, do you think that efforts to control or defend information sovereignty are ultimately doomed to fail?

Yes, I do believe that globalization of communication flows have created a bigger name for nation-states on the international stage; the real question is has it made a better name for them? I also believe that controlling information sovereignty will be a challenge for these nation-states in the long run. The efficiency of globalized communication is growing and expanding rapidly every day. The advances in technology allow nations to communicate effectively across borders and it gives them a boost economically. Unfortunately, there are several factors working against these nation-states to censor or “defend” information sovereignty.

Although I think the nation-state has become more relevant to other countries due to the globalization of communication it has caused issues for the nation-state internally. Transnational media is an example of how globalization negatively impacts the modern nation-state. Transnational media doesn’t allow the state to control the information and evolving technologies have changed the legitimacy of the nation-state. In which case, information sovereignty is put into action. The purpose of information sovereignty within a nation-state is to enforce and enhance the stability for the greater good of the public and to control the flow of information within its borders. However, the rise of technology enables people to branch out beyond their sovereign nation and become a part of groups based on shared interests (Powers, Jablonski p.163 2015).

There are three major globalizing technologies: 1) telecommunication 2) audiovisual products 3) computer-mediated communication (Hanson, p.48). Out of these three forms of technology the one that seems to cause the most concern is computer-mediated communication because of the various ways an individual can receive information and interact with people across borders. With unrestricted Internet content, in theory, nation-states will lose their sense of legitimacy (Powers, Jablonski, p.164 2015). According to theorists Asa Briggs and Peter Burke, propaganda, censorship, total information control, and violent repression are the only ways to combat this issue (Powers, Jablonski, p.164 2015). China and Iran are examples of two countries that strongly censor material on the Internet to ensure control and sovereignty. However, this may not be the answer for all nation-states. This can create social unrest and public uprisings against the government creating long-term issues with the social contract between the nation-state and its citizens.

I don’t think efforts to control information sovereignty are “doomed to fail,” more research just needs to be conducted to find better ways to keep the nation-state sovereign without placing too much control over the public. The United States has been concerned about the shared content on the Internet and how it affects the legitimacy and decreases the power of the government. They continue to explore ways to balance free speech and security (Powers, Jablonski p.166 2015).

Powers, Shawn M., and Michael Jablonski. The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom.

IT Governance = More Censorship

Question: Do current debates over internet technology governance reflect some of the ideas expressed in one (or more) of the theories discussed in the readings?

Internet technology governance is a powerful tool used to impact people on a global scale economically and socially. Policy makers through major organization ICANN and other technical experts are responsible for connecting two-thirds of the world through the use of technology (“Internet Governance”). This blog posting will discuss a two different communication theories that reflect some of the modern day issues with internet technology governance.

Multiple countries censor what their people can see by prohibiting certain content from being seen. I recent study by an organization called Freedom House, showed China, Cuba, and Iran, as being some of the top ranked countries that are protecting their people from intellectual property or what they see as controversial material through political or social means (Masters, 2014). Managing what citizens of these countries can see does block them from certain aspects of the world but it is also an attempt to preserve the country’s traditional values.

In the theory of information society, it discusses how many people claim new technologies create issues with their people’s ideological beliefs (Thussu, Kishan 2000, 59). This theory further highlights that although the Internet is a great use of a communicative outlet, it can create major problems with emerging technology.

The modernization theory, literally explains how modernizing mass media will transform traditional societies ( Thussu, Kishan 2000, 43). A specific example talks about how a theorist observed Middle Eastern exposure to early media, such as the radio, and how it modernized the society breaking them from their traditions.

Wilbur Schramm under the modernization theory as well had a different approach to media as it affected the development of other countries. Schramm felt that mass media was a great tool to analyze the growth of media through communication hardware sales domestically and overseas. He also thought that it helped define the developing country politically through transference (Thussu, Kishan 2000, 44).

There are a plethora of theories in communication that can ultimately describe the influence of Internet technology governance. The theory of information society and the modernization theory specifically support why countries feel they are being pushed toward westernized values and why they censor what their citizens can see. It also explains how theorists agree with these country’s government beliefs or offer an alternative, positive outlook.

“Internet Governance.” Internet Society. Accessed September 18, 2015.

Thussu, Daya Kishan. International Communication: Continuity and Change. London: Arnold ;, 2000.

Masters, Jonathan. “What Is Internet Governance?” CFR Backgrounders. April 23, 2014. Accessed September 18, 2015.

U.S. Information Policy

Question: For Powers and Jablonski, what are the key tensions underscoring US information policy?

In chapter one of The Real Cyber War, Powers and Jablonski explain information policy and what it meant to the United States during a period of industrial and economic development. Emphasis was placed specifically on the nature of its use, which is comprised of two major principles: The first is that unrestricted access to information, domestic or internationally, advocates democracy and global peace. The second is the understanding that restricted access to information can benefit the U.S. when it comes to business ventures abroad (Jablonski, Powers, p. 32). The United States exercised both of these principles in an attempt to boost economic growth.

The Woodrow Wilson and Clinton administration both acted within the first principle by giving the public access to important government information. The result was as if it were in-house diplomacy. They found that by sharing information it allowed other goals to be achieved within the U.S. to grow the nation as a whole.

Powers and Jablonski also discussed how the United States also used this policy adversely to the two major principles in that harboring industrial information from other countries and preventing exportation was another tactic to see their economy thrive. This was also a method used in Britain with technological advances such as the telegraph.

Britain mastering the telegraphing system was a success that pushed the U.S. to seek out industrial power in other countries through information policy. This resulted in the development in the radio and telephone communication systems.

For the U.S., pairing information and commerce together was key when deciding on how to effectively initiate information policy in the early development stages during the 19th and 20th centuries. Ultimately it helped with communication globally with international trade, industrial development, and advancing technology.

Powers, Shawn M., and Michael Jablonski. The Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom.