Monthly Archives: November 2012

“Digital diplomacy” – digital media as a foreign policy tool

Facebook in Tahrir square

Photo by Interact Egypt (c) Creative Commons – http://www.flickr.com/photos/interactegypt/7029060335/

One of the things I hope to have the opportunity to look into during my fellowship at the University of Washington is the use of digital media in the field of diplomacy and foreign affairs.

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Meeting the next generation of European journalists

I had an interesting exchange yesterday with students who are following the Masters in European Journalism organised by the Institut des Hautes Etudes des Communication Sociales (IHECS) in Brusssels.

The course aims to equip the next generation of EU journalists with the skills they will need to cover European affairs in a rapidly changing media environment.  Most of the workshops and assignments are overseen by practicing journalists and media professionals.

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A la recherche de la « French Touch » numérique …

European Day of Multilingual Blogging 2012Oui, vous avez bien vu.  Ce billet est en français!

A l’occasion de la « Journée Européenne du blogging multilingue », de nombreux bloggeurs s’expriment aujourd’hui dans une langue qui n’est pas leur langue maternelle ou la langue habituelle de leur blog.  Cette initiative sympathique est coordonnée par ma collègue, Antonia Mochan, qui travaille au bureau de la Commission européenne à Londres.

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Can open data improve the effectiveness of EU funding?

RoncoferraroRoncoferraro, a small town in the northern Italian region of Lombardia, has switched to 100% renewable sources for its muncipal energy needs.  A mix of different technologies, including solar power and a high-tech heating network running on locally-produced woodchips, provides heat during the cold winters and air conditioning during the hot summers.  These investments were part-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund.

Until recently, it was difficult for journalists, researchers and even public officials from the different administrations in Italy to get a comprehensive overview of the way EU funding is allocated to projects in local communities like Roncoferraro.  The relevant information was dispersed across the websites of different managing authorities, and published in formats that made it difficult to access and work with the data.

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Crisis communication: learning from Hurricane Sandy

New York subway closed due to Hurricane Sandy

New York subway closed due to Hurricane Sandy

When we left on a family holiday to New York a week ago, we had no idea that we would end up in the middle of the most serious crisis to hit the city since 9-11.

Within a couple of days of our arrival, Hurricane Sandy had brought New York to a virtual standstill.  The subway was flooded, businesses were closed and an explosion in a power station had left Lower Manhattan without electricity.

Observing and speaking with New Yorkers as they dealt with Sandy and its aftermath, we were impressed by their resilience, resourcefulness and good humour.  Sandy also demonstrated the importance of communication in the context of a crisis.

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