The US department of defense said Monday it planned to end funding for the print version of Stars and Stripes military newspaper to save money, putting the news outlet at risk.
The editorially independent newspaper, which is supplied to US service personnel around the world, said the government subsidy was essential for its overseas reporting and distribution.
“We essentially decided, coming into the modern age, that newspapers is not the way we communicate any longer,” Defense Department chief financial officer Elaine McCusker said at a briefing on the Pentagon’s 2021 budget proposal.
Max Lederer, Stars and Stripes’ publisher, said Pentagon officials told him that the budget cut would amount to $7 million, about 35 percent of Stripes’ annual expenses.
“We are now beginning that discussion and evaluating options, including ways to continue operations in some form,” Lederer said.
Stars and Stripes – which also has a popular online presence – first appeared during the Civil War, and has published continuously since World War II.
About 12,000 papers are distributed each day, including at bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.