On September 22, 2105 the Altlanticist ran an article “Western Media Must Fight Russia’s Letha Propaganda More Aggressively” (see: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/western-media-must-fight-russia-s-lethal-propaganda-more-aggressively which is also the photo source.)
The thesis of the article is that Russia controls its media in a way that puts a pro-Russia spin on events that amounts to a “major global propaganda effort”. Muzzling media is often a two edged sword. On one hand you can try to silence critics, but on the other you risk alienating freedom of the press advocates and incur their wrath on the global stage.
A key point made by the article is: “It is possible that democratic tools and the standard requirements for balanced journalism are simply incapable of dealing with virulent state-generated propaganda.”
Does it make sense for the US to harness its influence assets (meaning State Department Public Diplomacy and MISO) as a means to try and counter balance Russian efforts?
One could argue that since most media is now digital, resources in the form of content or funding could be channeled to key digital media outlets that support US policy and goals and which could help in a counter Russian propaganda campaign.
Of course since this type of resourcing is not military in nature, but more in the diplomatic realm, State would have to be in the lead and MISO could be tasked on a project basis to help generate needed content and/or to provide monitoring and analysis of Russian propaganda as well as content recommendations.
This would appear to be a win-win situation because:
1. MISO personnel could bring needed language skills.
2. The work would be valuable training for MISO personnel.
3. MISO personnel would be subcontractors to the Department of State who remains in the lead.
Such media support could be extended to other areas as well such as ISIS. The name of the game being to counter negative propaganda, because unanswered propaganda becomes more believable over time without regard to its lack of truth.
Reader input invited.