In an Environment of News Layoffs and Closures, Outrageous to Shutter Stars and Stripes

The following is a statement from Laura Bassett, former Senior Politics Reporter for HuffPost, and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project regarding the Department of Defense’s plans to shutter Stars and Stripes, a military news outlet serving readers across the globe first published by Union soldiers during the Civil War:

“This is totally unnecessary and absurd. The 159-year old newspaper is a critical part of the press in the United States. It has served as an informational lifeline to America’s soldiers, veterans, and general public for hundreds of years and continues that duty to this day. 

The shuttering of Stars and Stripes, a publication that informs people and soldiers around the globe, would be another devastating blow to the news industry. In a world where news publishers are already struggling to stay afloat amid a global pandemic and Big Tech’s stranglehold over ad revenue, it would be irresponsible for the government to close Stars and Stripes. It’s even more outrageous to claim to shut it down to reduce spending when the Trump administration frequently brags about billions of funding increases for the military. The cost to operate the Stars and Stripes is pocket change in the context of the DOD budget. The free press is facing multiple crises on various fronts. At this precise moment, it’s extremely concerning that an iconic pillar of American journalism is set to be closed for no other reason than the antipathy of the current government to the press. We have enough battles, we shouldn’t have to fight our own government too.”