‘The world is a mess. The world is as angry as it gets,’ declared the new President
of the United States recently. The election of Donald J. Trump has coincided with,
perhaps arisen from, a period of unusual turbulence in early 21st century geopolitics.
Events have become difficult to read, no less predict. For all that Twitter diplomacy,
‘twiplomacy’, has sought to inject concision and clarity into politics, the reverse appears
to be unfolding. Truth, untruth, and post-truth: conversations around how domestic
and foreign policy are communicated to populations by elected and indeed unelected
politicians have shone the spotlight on what it means to call a fact a fact. Indeed, why
it matters to draw a distinction between truth and lies. And why a question of ethics
not simply efficacy is ever present in the decision making of strategic communicators.