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A Threat to Stars and Stripes?

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The Pentagon’s bid to save $1 million by moving the editorial offices of the famed Stars and Stripes newspaper has some of its once-ink-stained scribes upset about possible interference from the brass.

As Paul Farhi reports in the Washington Post, the planned move of the staff from the National Press Building downtown out to Fort Meade, Md., would place the newshounds down the hall from the Defense Department’s main public affairs office.

“It creates the perception of a lack of independence, that we are doing the bidding of the Pentagon, so to speak,” said Terry Leonard, top editor of Stars and Stripes, which has a print circulation of 70,000 along with a website. “That’s a huge problem. . . . It’s a step-by-step process. How long will it take before we get absorbed into the great [public affairs] monstrosity that the DoD has?”

The paper’s staff wrote a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, but no response as yet.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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