The impact of the Internet on diplomatic reporting: how diplomacy training needs to be adjusted to keep pace

Over the last 20 years, the Internet has changed the ways in which we work, how we socialise and network, and how we interact with knowledge and information.
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Mary Murphy

In the world of diplomacy, the change has been of even greater magnitude. The volume of information available and the speed at which it can be accessed has had a huge effect on diplomatic reporting. This research set out to determine how the Internet has affected diplomatic reporting and to establish how training in diplomatic reporting needs to be adjusted to keep pace. Through surveys and face-to-face interviews with practicing and retired diplomats, it establishes that the Internet has indeed affected diplomatic reporting, making it more effective, more immediate, more cost-effective, and less formal. A survey of training offered by diplomatic academies shows while all institutions surveyed offer training in diplomatic reporting, none offer online training. This gap needs to be addressed. Given the increasing pressure on diplomats’ time and embassy resources, online training will allow diplomats to stay current without leaving their desks.

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