The OSD Emerging Media Directorate

A jewel in the crown of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs may be its Emerging Media Directorate. Put aside your images of Facebook and Twitter, though this office handles them and other social media for DoD. These guys may be one of the best sources of information in the Pentagon. Sure programs like the Bloggers’ Roundtable may be planned and the guests may not be of the multi-star ilk, but it showcases experts who can be difficult to access. (The Bloggers’ Roundtable is brilliant.)

DoD’s Emerging Media seems to be a genuine effort to fill communication gaps and reach out to the little guy (as well as the CNNs of the world). The staff seems to understand we will write and comment on our varied encounters and reach an audience that may be otherwise tough to crack.

After months of watching from afar, I finally participated in my first roundtable. A number of news outlets (not all blogs) including CNN and Stars and Stripes called in to talk to Army Brig. Gen. Michael Nagata, deputy commander, Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan who is overseeing U.S. relief efforts in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a hot topic and the widespread flooding makes it even more interesting. When the topic of piracy was heating up, the Navy’s commander of the combined Joint Task Force in the Gulf of Aden was a guest on the Bloggers’ Roundtable and shared information so detailed I was able to confirm it and use it in an article. Unfortunately I missed the recent roundtable featuring Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. James R. Cartwright on reforming the way the Pentagon does business. You can go to the Web site to listen to the interviews live and read the transcript.

The Nagata interview will appear later this week.

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