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Bureau of Information

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Overview Edit

The Bureau of Information of the USIA produced and distributed to USIS offices in the field a variety of publications in as many as 30 languages supporting U.S. policy objectives, such as an explanation of U.S. drug policy. The Bureau also published books and pamphlets providing information on U.S. history, politics, economy, and culture, and adopted new technologies for information delivery.

The Bureau utilized new technologies as they became available, such as teletype, to move informational materials to the field. When the Bureau began utilizing the Internet, availability of printed materials and other types of information grew dramatically. Examples of information sent through electronic media from Washington headquarters included:

  • the Washington File, which provided official U.S. public statements on U.S. policy;
  • a USIA website, and temporary USIA-sponsored, issue-specific websites such as a site covering the Kyoto Climate Change Conference;
  • access to the Foreign Affairs Documentation Collection, which contained selected authenticated versions of treaties and other international agreements; and
  • an electronic journal with articles that could be downloaded as formatted publications for print distribution on a variety of topics, from providing background on U.S. society and values to NATO-enlargement issues.

In addition, the Bureau's Speakers Program sent several hundred recognized U.S. speakers to foreign countries each year. U.S. embassies could organize speaking engagements on college campuses, with the press, or with the general public. While their trips were sponsored by the U.S. government, these speakers expressed their own views, which proved attractive to audiences.

The Information Bureau also made speakers available through video and telephone conferences to ensure a more timely discussion of current issues. A link for a video conference using satellites could be established through several embassies at one time.

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