Page 16 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

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16
FEBRUARY 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
The
Real
Global Hot Spots?
A
ccording to
a recent Gallup Poll,
famously hot-blooded Italians are only
moderately emotional. In fact, residents of more than 70 other coun-
tries reported more intense feelings, including such frebrands as Finland and
Canada.
Gallup
indexed 150
countries and
territories
by surveying
residents on
whether they
experienced any
of fve negative
and fve positive
emotions in the
previous day.
Te more “yes” responses, the more emotional the country.
A map created by the
Washington Post
f
or its Nov. 28 article on the poll
reveals some unexpected patterns and outliers in the world’s emotional land-
scape. Passionate purple shades the Americas, while post-Soviet countries are
a stoic light green. Te Philippines looms in a sea of less emotive countries,
as befts its standing as the world’s most emotional country by far. Singapore,
barely visible on the map, is at the other end of the continuum.
Also noteworthy is the type of emotion experienced. Respondents in Latin
America tend to report smiling and laughing more frequently than most other
parts of the globe. But the Middle East is another story: Iraq leads among coun-
tries most likely to experience negative emotions, and most of its neighbors are
not far behind.
—Emily A. Hawley, Editorial Intern
Service, called this an “alarming trend,”
and warned that the Obama adminis-
tration needs to address it. “Even with
the external challenges, we’re seeing a
failure of management.”
John Berry, chief of the Ofce of Per-
sonnel Management, concurred. “Te
government is likely to be on a pretty
strict diet for the foreseeable future in
terms of resources,” he said. “We are
encouraging every agency to dive into
their results and pay attention to them.”
—Steven Alan Honley, Editor
Information Wants
to Be Free
W
hen President Barack Obama
signed the Fiscal Year 2013
defense authorization bill on Jan. 2, he
also lifted a 65-year ban on domestic
dissemination of government broad-
casts by the Voice of America, Radio
Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio
Martí, Radio Free Asia and Middle East
Broadcasting Networks. A
Jan. 4 posting
on the Broadcasting Board of Gover-
nors Web site explains the sequence of
events.
Te 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, named for
its sponsors, contained many benefcial
provisions, but is best known for forbid-
ding the broadcast or distribution in the
United States of any content intended for
global audiences. Te ban was intended,
in part, to prevent overseas propaganda
eforts from being directed toward U.S.
citizens.
After the Cold War ended, growing
numbers of U.S.-based ethnic broadcast-
ers serving diaspora populations sought
access to such content. Te BBG had no
choice but to deny such requests, but
many of the outlets—ranging from Suda-
nese broadcasters in Minnesota to Cuban
community broadcasters in Miami—used
the material anyway.
As Internet distribution became avail-
able, keeping a lid on BBG content in the
United States grew more difcult. VOA
Russian, for example, can be seen almost
daily in New York City because local
cable channel operators import Russian-
language channels from overseas.
Te Smith-Mundt Modernization Act
was frst introduced in 2010 to lift the
ban without overturning the rest of the
original legislation. Tough that measure
never passed, the repeal of the domes-
tic distribution ban was attached to the
defense authorization bill.
For U.S. broadcasters, the change
means little on a day-to-day basis, other
than that they need not worry about their
content popping up in the U.S. No money
can be used to create content directed
at domestic audiences, and the BBG—
which strongly supported the measure—
has no plans to measure any domestic
audiences that may occur.
n
—Steven Alan Honley, Editor