Leaks, Tweets And Modern Diplomacy


2019100820191014 (R4)

Was the recent resignation of Britain's ambassador to Washington a sign that traditional diplomacy has had its day?

BBC Diplomatic Correspondent James Landale goes behind the curtain of a secret world to discover what skills and abilities today's diplomats need to survive. He learns how they deal with the revolutions in knowledge, politics and security that now make their jobs harder than ever.

In the age of global mass communication and the exposure of countless state secrets, how do diplomats do their job? Their work has always relied on special access to hidden corners but suddenly in an age when Presidents can message each other directly on WhatsApp and Tweet their thoughts direct to millions, what value do the armies of discreet and subtle emissaries really bring to the perilous business of international rivalry and conflict, peace-building and trade?

Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leads a cast of senior political and diplomatic figures who explain to James how they've wrestled with the tensions engulfing diplomacy today. They reveal how they try to meet the challenges of social media, data breaches, info hacks and instant global communication.

Presenter: James Landale
Producer: Jonathan Brunert

Has diplomacy had its day? James Landale learns what diplomats must do to adapt.