Introducing... DipNote's New Managing Editor

Posted by Luke Forgerson
May 15, 2008
DipNote Managing Editor Luke Forgerson

About the Author: Luke Forgerson recently joined the DipNote Bloggers team as Managing Editor.

Press freedom has been on my mind lately, and not just because it was the theme of a recent Dipnote "Question of the Week." Two weeks ago, I joined the Dipnote team as the new managing editor. While we are clearly not the press, we face some of the same issues. Since starting, I have been asked several times whether or not Dipnote posts all of our readers’ submitted comments. Actually, it is probably the question I have been asked most frequently about my new job. This may be due in part because so many of my friends are journalists.

I found the answer when our editor-in-chief informed me that almost 95% of the comments submitted to Dipnote are indeed posted online. Submissions that include profanity, personal attacks or hateful statements are the only ones that are not. This told me two things. First, Dipnote has an impressive readership, committed to informed and respectful discussion. Second, Dipnote is fulfilling its purpose. It is giving individuals an opportunity to voice their opinions and be active participants in a community that is focused on foreign affairs.

My previous assignment was in the State Department’s Office of Public Liaison, where my colleagues and I responded to inquires from the public and arranged opportunities for diverse groups to engage Department officials. On occasion, we held foreign policy forums at the domestic community level, which allowed for Department officials to explain U.S. foreign policy and hear what the American public was thinking. I had the opportunity to attend a few of these forums. Rochester, Minneapolis and San Francisco were not the cities I thought I’d be traveling to on behalf of the Department, but I’m glad I did. I saw that all across this country there are people interested in U.S. foreign policy, and I felt as if we were contributing to the democratic process when Department officials returned to Washington with the public’s feedback.

Dipnote really serves the same purpose. In some respects, it’s an online version of the town hall meeting – a place where different opinions are all shared openly under the same roof. As I’ve been reading your comments and opinions, I feel as if I am joining you in mid-conversation. Where the conversation goes from here will largely be determined by you – Dipnote’s readers and its many dedicated Department contributors.

I think that is part of why blogs are resonating. They can make anyone’s voice count anywhere. Take for example Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez, who was recently named among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world. This would have been unimaginable even a few years ago.

I’m pleased to be joining the conversation and look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Comments

Comments

Luke G.
|
United States
May 16, 2008

Luke in New England writes:

That is really weird. I am going to have to send you a picture of me without a beard. It is so weird seeing a picture of myself (almost) on this blog and then noticing we have the same first name.

John
|
Greece
May 16, 2008

John in Greece writes:

Dear Mr. Forgerson, I wish you the best in your new position.

All you guys there, keep up the excellent work you do as Dipnote team.

You are absolutely right that DipNote is extremely Free. Please also consider that sometimes I am almost shocked concerning the hospitality that the Blog offers even to hard-core anti-American comments.

I send comments to the Blog from the very first day of its existence. So, I feel the need to "testify" that you are absolutely accurate in what you say, as long as 100% of the "material" I have forwarded from time to time has indeed been posted, no matter my views.

This Blog is a real communication model of how Free exchanging of ideas should be.

After all, this is what the United States of America philosophy is all about: FREEDOM!

James
|
United States
May 16, 2008

James in U.S.A. writes:

Bin Laden: Fight for Palestinian cause fueled 9/11 attacks

Bin Laden: Palestinian cause fuels holy war (AP)
May 16th, 2008

Al-Qaida will continue its holy war against Israel and its allies until it liberates Palestine, Osama bin Laden said in a new audio statement Friday.
The message came as President Bush wrapped up his visit to Israel to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.
Bin Laden says the fight for the Palestinian cause is the most important factor driving al-Qaida's war with the West and fueled the Sept. 11 attacks.
The authenticity of the close to 10 minute message could not be verified, but it was posted on a Web site commonly used by al-Qaida.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Video that gets to the Israel question:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1bm2GPoFfg

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel

http://representativepress.blogspot.com/2005/08/gorilla-in-room-is-us-su...

SCANDAL: 9/11 Commissioners Bowed to Pressure to Suppress Main Motive for the 9/11 Attacks:

http://representativepress.blogspot.com/2006/09/reviews-of-without-prece...

Additional at the following URL:

http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=39590

http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.BLOGSPOT.COM

-------------------------------------

Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 15:06:31 -0700 (PDT)
From:
Subject: Re: Dr. Paul names the neocons

"Neocon who's who for dummies"
(info straight out of wikipedia & The Power of Nightmares)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4df1soW7Dho

Trotsky, Hitchens, Abrams, Kristol, Strauss, Wolfowitz.

McCain, NeoCons, the Israel Lobby Ron Paul Weekly Standard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfLeZXrluZw&feature=related

The Mearsheimer/Walt book was mentioned during the 'Q & A' of the Mideast panel (which took place at UCLA a few weeks ago in association with the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books) that is initially airing on C-SPAN 2/Book TV this coming Sunday (May 18th) at 8 PM (on the west coast) and at 11 PM on the east coast (schedule at www.booktv.org) as it can be viewed online as well via the streaming video link for C-SPAN 2 at www.c-span.org (C-SPAN 2/Book TV is also airing a segment with Dr. Paul earlier in the day about his new book - see the schedule at www.booktv.org).

Why All of Our Efforts Won?t Stop an Attack on Iran

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 12, 2008

The Limits of Exposure
Why All of Our Efforts Won't Stop an Attack on Iran

http://counterpunch.org/leupp05122008.html

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
May 16, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

How about a Position, or as the English would say, a situation?

Good luck with this endeavor; hopefully a more varied and educated response load will result...perhaps a live chat for dialogue with opposing views or debates can be developed in the future.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
May 16, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

@ DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson -- Welcome to Dipnote-World! I hope you will carry on your tradition of responsive editing. ...I also hope you will arrange a "Dip-Know Forum" in New York City. NYC has a unique and valuable perspective on global issues, and ways to move America forward in the new millennium.

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 16, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ John in Greece and Joe in Tennessee -- Thanks so much for your warm wishes and feedback! I encourage you to continue reading and posting.

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 16, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Ronald in New York -- Thanks for your welcome! It's an interesting idea that you propose. Let us know a bit more about what you have in mind.

John
|
Greece
May 18, 2008

John in Greece writes:

@ Joe in Tennessee & DipNote bloggers -- Very nice idea Joe about a probable chat room. Actually, I have made the same suggestion too, a couple of months ago.

Nevertheless, after further thinking, I am a little sceptical concerning the "security" of the chat platform and how difficult it will be for the chat room to keep a high standard class that according to my opinion is a prerequisite for SD.

As Mr. Forgerson mentions, "Submissions that include profanity, personal attacks or hateful statements are the only ones that are not posted."

However, this absolutely correct and ethical "policy" cannot easily work when you have to deal with a live chat.

Except if you have enough site guards (robotics, as we used to say some ten years ago) to protect the level and the quality of our Dipnote-World as Ronald (NY) so wonderfully describes our debating "hobby."

Please keep in mind that I am not an internet expert. I just share this thought of mine for further thinking.

I would love to see -- as Joe suggests too -- a live chat, as long as the level would be granted.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
May 19, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

Emotion runs high in live chat. Specially when the others employ deception rather than communications. It will never work at any level other than totally free. If you want to have standards, use the N.Y. Times or watch CNN. No need for your chat room because the content will be even less valuable than what those lame media outlets shurn out daily.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
May 19, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Specifics on a New York DIP-KNOW Interactive Town Hall Meeting:

Venue: Flushing Meadow, Queens....original site of UN.

Forum: Invited Expert Panel Global perspectives on topics of international and U.S. concern

Theme: Human Security...Energy, Economic, Political, Social, Environmental, Climate, etc.

Aim: a live and interactive web-cast to engage in global discourse on the challenges and promise of a secure future via proactive diplomacy.

Looking forward to your replies...

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 19, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Ronald in New York -- Great idea. We will definitely take this into consideration. Keep the suggestions coming!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 20, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Ronald in New York -- Ronald, Such a conference should probably have a theme and a results oriented goal that encompasses all of the topics you mentioned and I'll offer a thought in this regard, and see if DoS finds it thought provoking enough to run with.

There is one subject that affects all others, and that is weapons of mass destruction, in all their aspects.

Generally, our ability to self exterminate the species is taken out of context, as a hypothetical that is unpleasant to contemplate. Yet this potential capacity of nations exists in reality and we've created the problem ourselves.

We must solve this paradox if we are to truly embrace the fundamental mind set necessary to meet the other global problems we face.

I suggest therefore that this proposed conference take up the question of how to achieve a WMD-free world by the year 2045. That year will mark 100 years since the first atomic device was detonated on this planet.

I believe that target date can be reached successfully.

I think it would be a fine thing indeed were President Bush, as one of his last acts in office, to publicly challenge ourselves and the rest of the world to achieve this goal peacefully in partnership with each other.

Hopefully a nuts and bolts framework based upon existing progress will result in robust disarmament, and greater trust among nations.
But this must be based upon the premise of preserving the human species along with the planet, and being good stewards of both in general.

Which seems to be consistent with the premise of your idea.

There's a lot of work to to do in order to get there from here. And it must yield results, being that civilization very much depends on it.

We must determine what is "civilized" when it comes to the human potential for total self destruction. And can we even call ourselves such having created such a dysfunctional reality?

I would further suggest that the retrospectives of governments attending challenge each other not to disband the conference until the framework is complete, with a working roadmap that is holistic in vision and practical in implementation.

Even if it takes years. Because it will, and humanity needs to get serious about this now or face serious consequences down the road.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 20, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To: Luke Forgerson,

Welcome! Hope the job came with a paygrade upgrade, because we'll probably make you earn it...(chuckle).

Whereas this blog may be a manifestation of transformational diplomacy, or "the art of the possible".

With that caveat, I'd be remis not to offer to all the foreign officers, ambassadors, and diplomats struggling with seemingly intractable dillemas in general, a brief lesson (sic), in "Simian Diplomacy";

It may not be generally known that a smile that includes the showing of one's teeth is actually an offensive, agressive jesture to a great ape, as they in fact smile showing none.

Cutting in the uppermost corner of the winter quarters of the primate facility at the local zoo, twenty plus feet up on a ladder with bucket and paintbrush, I found that out.

The plywood wall separating the apes from the construction area ended about 2 ft from the ceiling with metal mesh the rest of the way.

Being visable from the enclosure, an oragutang climbed up right next to me to see what I was up to. Stuck his forefinger through the mesh to sample some of the fresh latex paint I had just applied. As he stuck his finger in his mouth, there came upon his face a totally human look of disgust, and he promptly spit in my direction. To which I had a very human reaction and almost fell off the ladder laughing at the whole affair.

The ape was not pleased, nor were his half a dozen friends. I had just started a riot in the cellblock.

Well I fairly road the rails down that ladder as the walls were shaking and wondering how on earth I was going to get my job done now?

I remembered the m&m's I had left over from lunch.

So climbing back up, the same ape got in my face, but then noted what I held out.

He was just fingering the last few m&m's through the mesh when the zoo attendant walked in, saw me, saw the ape, and screamed, "What are you doing FEEDING MY APES!!!???"

Aye, some days it seems no good deed goes unpunished....(chuckle).

Some months later, taking my kids to the zoo, we stopped by and there they all were hanging out in the sun, and one ape looked directly at me, held out his hand.

So I went and grabbed some m&m's from my kid's lunchbox and tossed the whole pack over the moat to him. To which he smiled and held them to his chest.

My oldest turned to me and said, "Dad, you're not supposed to feed the animals.""Well dear, don't worry about it. I know that one... We have an understanding."

I guess it just goes to show what is possible when the impossible isn't factored in.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 21, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

A brief clarification on the following:

"I would further suggest that the retrospectives of governments attending challenge each other not to disband the conference until the framework is complete, with a working roadmap that is holistic in vision and practical in implementation."

The old mindsets brought to the table invoke the need to sit in conference as long as it takes to change the dynamics of static patterns of thinking.

Or as one fellow recently put it, "Don't drive into the future with junk in your trunk."

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 21, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Thanks for your welcome and encouragement to approach situations creatively. The next time I'm snacking on M&M's, I'll be reminded of your story and smile. Please keep reading and posting!

Ronald
|
New York, USA
May 21, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Re: Nuclear WMD-Free 2045

New York Dip-Know Forum

Pegging the Town Hall to Nuclear Weapons destruction is a "sure-fire" (no pun intended)way to side-track the global agenda on Human Scurity. First, this administration seems bent on deciding who has Nukes, who can't have them, who should sell them, who should buy them, and from who. If the U.S.A. were interested in Nuclear Weapons Eradication, it could begin by reducing our own stocks; while incentivizing other nations to develop alternatives to nuclear arms for national security purposes. Also...could we really survive with Nukes aimed at each other until 2045? I shudder to think about nuclear winter (pun intended).

Jackie
|
Oregon, USA
May 22, 2008

Jackie in Oregon writes:

Mr. New Managing Editor

Hello and welcome.

Are you in charge of reading all the blog comments before they are posted?
The reason why I ask this questions is because of the "Your comment will be reviewed by a moderator for approval" message we all receive after submitting our comments. I know you mentioned that a majority of the comments are posted -- but what is the time lapse/delay between a blogger submitting a comment and when it is actually posted?

Brian
|
Florida, USA
May 22, 2008

Brian in Florida writes:

Luke,

Contratulations on your new position.

As Managing Editor, I was hoping you could be of assistance. I am a high school American Government teacher and I would love to get some feedback from you on ways to efficiently utilize your site for in-class discussions. My classroom is equipped with I-Beam technology, so I am able to project websites directly to the projection screen. This allows me to visit and project multiple audio/visual resources for class lecture, discussion, notes etc. Also, could you possibly forward a list on helpful government websites and other resources as well.

Thank you.

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 22, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Jackie in Oregon - Thanks for your welcome! To answer your questions, I'm among a small editorial staff that reviews DipNote entries and comments. In terms of the time lapse, anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the volume of comments.

Luke
|
District Of Columbia, USA
May 22, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Brian in Florida -- Great question! I think there could be a lot of ways to use DipNote in the classroom. Responding to the "Question of the Week" or a blog posting that is relevant to class discussion is one way that comes to mind. You can also watch the Department's policy podcasts and videos in your classroom. The Department's Doors to Diplomacy contest allows for students and educators to join together to build websites on topics related to international affairs and diplomacy.

I'd also like to direct you to the State Department's youth site, future.state.gov. It includes lesson plans for educators on topics such as the history of diplomacy, terrorism, the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam.

I'd also encourage you to check out the State Department's Office of the Historian, which provides educational videos, among other resources. Their most recent release is "Sports Diplomacy in the Global Arena" but look for additional titles to be forthcoming.

Considering opportunities outside the classroom, the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs provides information for U.S. citizens on programs such as studying abroad or hosting a foreign exchange student.

In addition, the Department of Education and the Library of Congress provide terrific online resources for social studies teachers.

I'd welcome other suggestions from our readers.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
May 29, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Luke -- Well Luke, I'm not joking when I say that was no dumb ape I was dealing with. More "human" than some humans I know in his capacity to forgive.

What lessons may be derived I'm not the one to be interpreting, for I'm a fellow who'd be tempted to break out some m&m's at a particularly dysfunctional moment at an NPT conference, and pass them around knowing folks are fully capable of creating the "planet of the apes".

But then only those "in the know" like yourself, would have a clue why I'd done so....(chuckle).

We could just call it a social experiment if I ever got the chance to test theory, and leave it at that.

Shola
|
New York, USA
June 3, 2008

Shola in New York writes:

Congrats on your position! I'm really excited about this blog and look forward to sharing my thoughts and opinions with you and many others.

Can we talk about anything? Have some questions about several topics from the election to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict but not sure what's off limits...if there are any topics off limits that is...

Luke F.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
June 6, 2008

DipNote Blogger Luke Forgerson writes:

@ Shola in New York -- Thanks for your comment! We love to hear when readers are excited about the blog.

As for topics, I think you'll find that we post entries on a broad range of foreign affairs issues. We ask that discussion comments relate to the specific entry, but let us know the topics on which you'd like to see more postings.

For more on Israel and Palestine, I'd encourage you to read about the Annapolis Conference and Middle East Peace.

.

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