"I want to make sure that we strengthen prohibitions against domestic covert propaganda campaigns aimed essentially at breaking down the Constitutional barriers between who controls policy and who makes war," stressed Representative Paul Hodes. "It's an important point, given the recent history."
Rep. Hodes was speaking at a conference on public diplomacy, held in Washington, DC on January 13. Public diplomacy is a catch-all term for the various ways in which the United States promotes itself to international audiences (as opposed to "regular" diplomacy, which targets foreign governments). These include international media, like the Voice of America; cultural and educational exchanges, such as the Fulbright Program; and a wide range of information activities, including foreign press centers, speaking events and publications. As the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy notes, the term "was developed partly to distance overseas governmental information activities from the term propaganda, which had acquired pejorative connotations."