Stars and Stripes Fights DoD Hype

"Top editors at the military newspaper Stars and Stripes are asking for full disclosure of the paper's relationship with a Department of Defense publicity program, called America Supports You, after disclosures that money for the program was funneled through the newspaper," reports Sara Abruzzesse. "The newspaper's two top editors have asked that the acting publisher, Max D. Lederer Jr., and the Pentagon official who oversees the program, Allison Barber, release details of a relationship that involves employees of the newspaper's business department overseeing contracts on behalf of America Supports You." The editors complain that the paper's business deals with a DoD PR program undermine its editorial independence and credibility. What might be the motivation for funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars through the paper? "Because Stars and Stripes relies partly on advertising revenue, it operates with fewer guidelines and restrictions than other Pentagon programs."