Public Diplomacy, International Broadcasting, and Public Opinion:
New Media, New Tools, New Challenges

A Pre-Conference to the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) Annual Meeting
Tuesday – May 14, 2013
– Boston, Massachusetts

Twitter: #WAPORPD

Thank you to all the distinguished panelists and attendees for a successful pre-conference.  We will be updating this site in the coming weeks with more information about follow up initiatives related to the topic.

Pre-Conference Overview

Over the last decade, mobile and internet usage has skyrocketed; global news channels have moved to the fore; and the events of the Arab Spring, the Green Revolution in Iran, the Global Occupy Movement, as well as many others have brought into question traditional ideas about the relationship between information flows and public opinion formation.  These events suggest that a re-examination of the relationship between public diplomacy, international broadcasting, and public opinion is sorely needed.  The idea is that, if mutually positive presentation of information occurs among well-intended countries, governments, NGOs, and other members of civil society, then the people of these countries would be less likely to support violent ways for managing any conflicts that might spontaneously emerge among their governments.

New technologies and new information flows raise challenges for collecting accurate public opinion data relevant to the practice of international outreach at the same time that they provide new channels for international communication and for data collection about the successes and failures of that communication.

Bringing together academics, data collection experts, and public diplomacy and international broadcasting practitioners, this one-day pre-conference explored these challenges in detail.

The pre-conference was designed as a meeting place for academics, polling professionals, and public diplomacy and international broadcasting practitioners to share their perspectives, formulate new ideas, and identify areas where further research is needed.  While the pre-conference incorporated various speakers and panels, it evolved as a continuing conversation in which all participants joined the conversation.

The pre-conference concluded with several ideas for follow up initiatives and events.  We will be updating this site with those opportunities as they unfold.