SPJ urges Pentagon to reconsider Stars and Stripes cuts
Patricia Gallagher Newberry, SPJ National President, 513-702-4065, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, email@example.com
INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists strongly opposes the Pentagon’s proposed cuts to Stars and Stripes, the editorially independent newspaper of the military.
“Stars and Stripes keeps the troops – especially those who are deployed – informed. It is an independent, non-partisan voice on which so many troops depend,” said SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry. “To cut its budget would be doing a huge disservice to the men and women who serve our country.”
The newspaper reported that most of its funding comes from sales, subscriptions and advertising, but it depends on the Defense Department to subsidize about 35%, or $7 million, of its budget for assistance in covering expensive and sometimes dangerous overseas reporting and distribution.
“Contrary to what a Pentagon spokesperson has said, there is still a place for newspapers in this modern age,” Newberry continued. “This is especially the case for troops who are deployed to areas where internet access is not available or is prohibited.
“Since it was first published during the Civil War, Stars and Stripes has been a balanced and objective source of information for members of the military,” Newberry said. “Its ability to inform troops about issues important to them must not be hindered.”
SPJ calls on Defense Secretary Mark Esper to reconsider these budget cuts and the effects they will have on deployed troops in receiving news from home.
SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.