Who to follow in the world of twiplomacy?

Who to follow in the world of twiplomacy?

When exploring the world of digital diplomacy, one is often confronted by a puzzling plurality of official twitter channels. For instance, the US digital diplomacy apparatus includes President Obama’s twitter channel, Vice President Biden’s twitter channel, Secretary of State John Kerry’s twitter channels, twitter channels operated by official spokespersons of the US government, the State

pedestrian lane for twitter diplomacy

When exploring the world of digital diplomacy, one is often confronted by a puzzling plurality of official twitter channels. For instance, the US digital diplomacy apparatus includes President Obama’s twitter channel, Vice President Biden’s twitter channel, Secretary of State John Kerry’s twitter channels, twitter channels operated by official spokespersons of the US government, the State Department’s twitter channel and channels operated by US embassies and ambassadors abroad. Such plurality also exists in Israel’s case where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu often comments on world affairs on his private twitter channel in addition to tweets published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israeli embassies and ambassadors abroad and even the Israeli Defense Forces.

The question that soon arises is who should you follow in the tweetosphere of twiplomacy in order to gain insight into foreign policy? Foreign Offices? Foreign Secretaries? All of the above? This question is a pivotal one for me personally as my research aims to understand how various nations practice the new art of digital diplomacy.

Whenever examining a new phenomenon in cyberspace, it is often wise to use the method of crowdsourcing thereby standing on the shoulders of virtual giants. In the case of digital diplomacy, I felt it appropriate to analyze the twitter profiles of Israeli journalists serving as international commentators and examine which of the various digital diplomacy channels they view as important sources of information.

In order to do so, I first compiled a sample of twelve Israeli journalists who serve as international commentators in prominent local news outlets. The sample included commentators from public and commercial Israeli television channels, print media, online media, radio stations and bloggers contributing to well established alternative news websites. Each commentator’s twitter profile was analyzed separately in order to examine which of the following digital diplomacy channels he follows: heads of state (e.g., President, Prime Minister, Ayatollah), foreign ministers, Foreign Offices, politicians (i.e., other government ministers), ambassadors, embassies, government spokespersons (e.g., White House Press Secretary) and other (the White House twitter channel, Élysée Palace, Downing 10).

The results of the analysis are shown in the graph below:

twitter channels followed by reporters

As can be observed, the commentators in the sample mostly follow twitter channels operated by embassies and ambassadors, be it Israeli ambassadors stationed abroad or foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel. Many commentators also follow foreign ambassadors to international organizations such as the US Ambassador to the UN. It is interesting to note that twitter channels operated by embassies and ambassadors are far more popular amongst the journalists in the sample than those operated by Foreign Offices. Should such results be found amongst a larger sample of journalists, they could indicate that Foreign Offices should place greater emphasis on their embassies’ digital diplomacy channels in terms of activity and the scope of information provided.

The fact that foreign embassies in Israel appear to be more popular amongst local journalists than Foreign Offices could also signify that such embassies have been successful in achieving one of the primary goals of public diplomacy, creating the atmosphere necessary for the acceptance of one country’s foreign policy amongst the population of another. By drawing a large crowd of local reporters, foreign embassies are able to communicate their respective government’s foreign policy messages to Israeli audiences. It is also possible that in the world of twiplomacy, embassies have retained the role they played in the offline world as important sources of information for local members of the press.

The second and third most popular categories of twitter channels amongst the commentators were those operated by heads of state and foreign ministers. The fact that a President’s twitter channels is more popular amongst journalists than that operated by Foreign Office is less surprising as the headline “Obama vows to maintain Ukrainian integrity” trump the headline “White House concerned over Ukrainian integrity”. A fascinating question of course is who actually operates Prime Minister David Cameron’s twitter channel? The British PM himself? His political aid? Or maybe, the British Foreign Office as it is aware of the immense popularity of Mr. Cameron’s channel amongst the world press.

Twitter channels operated by Foreign Offices were the fifth most popular category of channels amongst the Israeli commentators in the sample. What was most interesting about this result was which Foreign Offices were followed. All commentators followed the US State Department with a majority also following the UK’s Foreign Office, France’s Foreign Office and Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Only a minority of commentators followed other European Foreign Offices and only one followed the twitter channel of an Arab Foreign Office. Thus, it is possible that even in the world of digital diplomacy the geo-political bias of the press towards dominant world powers remains intact as has the relatively narrow prism through which the Israeli media mediates the world to its audiences.

Please follow and like us:
error

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

RSS BIDD

  • Last week: A desecrated cemetery; This week: „Kosovo is an example of interfaith tolerance and coexistence“ 19th July 2019
    „In terms of interfaith tolerance and coexistence, Kosovo sets an example in the region and beyond,“ the Kosovo Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli said at a ministerial conference on religious freedom held in Washington. While Pacolli claims that the various religious communities in Kosovo „live together in harmony,“ the Kosovo Police still fail to find those […]
  • Novi Twitter: „U jednoj reči- ružan“ 18th July 2019
    Promene koje je „pretrpela“ plaftorma društvene mreže postepeno su najavljivane od početka ove nedelje. Do promena je došlo zbog bržeg i efikasnijeg korišćenja Tvitera, saopštili su iz kompanije. The post Novi Twitter: „U jednoj reči- ružan“ appeared first on BIDD.

RSS Diplo Portal Belgrade

  • Appel d’offres pour l’expoitation d’un espace commercial rue Zmaj Jovina 19th July 2019
    L'ambassade de France recherche un partenaire pour exploiter le local commercial situé rue Zmaj Jovina 11, dans le bâtiment « l'Union », qui abrite l'Institut français de Serbie. - Annonces publiques / Source : La France en Serbie (https://rs.ambafrance.org) The post Appel d’offres pour l’expoitation d’un espace commercial rue Zmaj Jovina appeared first on Diplomatic […]
  • Делегация Бостонского университета посетила Русский Дом в Белграде 19th July 2019
    19 июля РЦНК «Русский Дом» в Белграде посетила делегация студентов и профессоров Бостонского Северо-восточного университета. В ходе визита делегация ознакомилась с историей создания Русского Дома и белой эмиграции в Сербии. Студенты в свою очередь интересовались культурой, изучением русского языка, деятельностью Центра и русско-сербскими отношениями. Сообщение Делегация Бостонского университета посетила Русский Дом в Белграде появились сначала […]

Catalog of Destroyed and Desecrated Churches in Kosovo ( VIDEO )

Most Viewed Posts

  • Twitter Suspends Hamas Accounts
    By ROBERT MACKEYLast Updated, Sunday, Jan. 19 | Several Twitter accounts used by the military wing of Hamas have been suspended by the social network in recent days, angering the Islamist militants and delighting Israel’s military. #Twitter has suspended the official account of #Hamas, a terrorist group that uses social media to threaten #Israel http://t.co/g1UxKc9fpf
  • The State of Gastrodiplomacy
    By Paul Rockower It is fitting that a magazine devoted to studying innovations and trends in the field of public diplomacy has turned its focus on an increasingly popular forms of cultural diplomacy: gastrodiplomacy. Public Diplomacy Magazine’s Summer 2009 issue on Middle Powers explored the behavior of middle powers and the contours of “middlepowermanship.” Articles

How Belgrade based diplomats use Digital Diplomacy and Internet 2016

Diplo Portal Belgrade

Please follow and like us:
error
Scroll Up
error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)