NATO PR Push Targets Journalists, Youth

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) turns 60 and some ask why the Cold War alliance still exists, NATO is launching new media and public relations efforts. The NewsMarket, an online source of b-roll and video news release footage, is providing NATO-produced videos to journalists. Not surprisingly, given Barack Obama's controversial plans to increase troops in Afghanistan, the NATO / NewsMarket channel features videos on "mentoring the Afghan Army" and "taking the fight to the Taliban," along with an interview of U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones, a proponent of NATO expansion. "NATO Public Diplomacy Division has developed a comprehensive strategy to engage with young audiences," according to the NATO / NewsMarket press release. NATO's youth outreach includes an "Internet TV" channel and "unconventional advertisement videos" posted to YouTube. NATO spent 500,000 Euros (U.S.$666,000) on the videos, which use the slogan "Peace and security. That's our mission."