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Cablegate: Request for Speaker On U.S. Elections 2008

VZCZCXRO3663
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHBK #1362 1230526
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 020526Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 5201
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2908
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS

UNCLAS BANGKOK 001362

SIPDIS

DEPT PLEASE PASS EAP/PD, EAP/MLS, IIP/G/EAP

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP SCUL KPAO TH
SUBJECT: Request for Speaker on U.S. Elections 2008

1. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Post requests IIP support and assistance
to recruit a U.S. speaker for an FY2008 Speaker Program on Elections
2008. Post will program the U.S. speaker for five (5) days in
Bangkok and outlying provinces in the North, South and Northeast.
Post seeks a speaker who can provide a journalistic perspective on
the 2008 U.S. elections. Topics of interest would include media
ethics in covering the election campaign and candidates; the impact
that the media has on public perception of candidates; and the
effect of new media and technology on the electoral process,
including how it has shaped campaigning and fund raising by
candidates. The speaker also must be able to discuss platform
issues that resonate most with U.S. voters and to explain basic
elements of the U.S. electoral system (i.e. delegates, Electoral
College, balloting, vote counting, and campaign finance.) A senior
political correspondent or other senior correspondent versed in
coverage of U.S. elections would be ideal.

2. TIMEFRAME: Post proposes September 22-26, 2008 as tentative
program dates.

3. PROGRAM PURPOSE: To increase awareness, interest and
understanding among local media, students, academics, think-tanks,
and civil society on issues related to the 2008 U.S. Presidential
Elections with a special focus on the role of the media. This
program will further advance the Mission Strategic Plan goals of
Governing Justly and Democratically and Promoting International
Understanding.

Proposed Program details:

(a) Conduct round-table discussions with local media and civil
society activists on the 2008 U.S. elections and the importance of a
free and transparent media in the democratic process.

(b) Participate in one-on-one interviews with local Thai media on
the 2008 U.S. elections.

(c) Speak to groups of local media, university students, academics,
think-tanks, and civil society activists on the 2008 U.S. elections
in general, including possible implications of a new administration
on foreign policy, particularly security and trade.

4. AUDIENCE: Local media, academics, students, think-tanks, and
civil society in Thailand.

5. LANGUAGE: English. Post will arrange for Thai-English
interpretation as needed.

6. OTHER MATERIALS REQUESTED: Post requests IIP assistance in
obtaining relevant documents from the speaker for the information
packet Post will prepare and distribute. We appreciate your
assistance in obtaining this information at least six weeks in
advance of program for translation into Thai.

7. PROGRAM OFFICER:

Assistant Information Officer Cynthia A. Brown
Telephone: 66-2-205-4415
Fax: 66-2-650-8919
E-Mail: brownca@state.gov

Information Specialist Subhabhong Rarueysong
Telephone: 66-2-205-441566-2-205-4388
Fax: 66-2-650-8919
E-Mail: subhabhong@state.gov

8. FUNDING: All standard U.S. Speaker funding to be provided by
IIP through I-bucks.

9. COMMENT: Post requests this program be funded through I-bucks
in order to leverage the unique opportunity presented by the 2008
presidential elections to promote better understanding on the role
in a free press in the democratic process, which is of particular
importance as Thailand only recently returned to a
democratically-elected government in February 2008.


JOHN

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