Stars and Stripes Carrying the News Where The Action Is
National Guard Bureau
WASHINGTON, March 4, 2003 As the United States readies for a potential offensive on Iraq, Stars and Stripes is gearing up to cover the war and to distribute the daily newspaper to thousands of troops deployed throughout the Persian Gulf region.
Stars and Stripes reporters have been on the ground covering troop movements and exercises in the region for several weeks. A news bureau was established in Kuwait in January. Reporters are scheduled to accompany the Japan-based Kitty Hawk carrier group, the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Kuwait and Europe-based airmen currently deployed to the Gulf region.
"Like any commercial newspaper, all of our reporters embedded with fighting units will have to use discretion in reporting what's happening. For the rest, Stars and Stripes is free to report, accurately and fairly, what its reporters see," said Dave Mazzarella, the paper's editorial director.
Stripes' Gulf region coverage will differ at times from commercially owned stateside news organizations, because it has a unique, clearly defined audience -- service members, according to publisher Thomas Kelsch. "Our mission is to report about the troops, for the troops and their family members," he said.
Stars and Stripes' Persian Gulf mission is not limited to reporting. Production, circulation and distribution personnel are making final plans to ensure deployed troops have access to the newspaper.
Copies distributed to troops in the Gulf region are currently printed at Stripes' European headquarters near Frankfurt, Germany, and are shipped daily by air freight. Troops in the Gulf Region currently receive the European edition, but the paper's management is prepared to contract and use print sites located nearer the forces, if necessary. The newspaper also plans to publish a special edition for the region.
Stars and Stripes has continued a legacy of putting out a daily paper in the midst of bombs and battles during every major conflict since the American Civil War. It has remained editorially independent and continuously published since World War II.
The DoD-authorized daily newspaper provides commercially available U.S. and world news and original staff-produced stories for the overseas-based U.S. military community. By keeping its audience informed, Stars and Stripes enhances military readiness and better enables the U.S. military and its families stationed overseas to exercise their citizenship responsibilities.
(From a Stars and Stripes release.)