National Press Club leaders call for continued funding for Stars and Stripes newspaper

The heads of the National Press Club and the National Press Club Journalism Institute called Tuesday for continued funding for the Stars & Stripes newspaper, and said Defense Department officials should ensure financial support for the news organization.

The Trump administration suddenly announced it would end financial support after Sept. 30 for the newspaper that principally serves the U.S. military, ostensibly to save money, despite it costing less than $16 million in a Pentagon budget of more than $700 billion.

President Donald Trump said via Twitter on Sept. 4 that he planned to reverse his administration's proposed funding cut.

“While President Trump’s reversal is encouraging, lawmakers need to ensure follow-through by providing the funds for Stars and Stripes, and the Defense Department leadership needs to publicly affirm its continued support for the newspaper going forward,” National Press Club President Michael Freedman said.

“Stars and Stripes is too important to this country, and especially to its service members, for any uncertainty to linger about its future.”

Despite its government funding, Stars and Stripes is editorially independent. It traces its roots to the Civil War. The paper long has been a connection to news about the military and word from home, which has been especially important for forces overseas.

“Stars and Stripes has always provided and continues to provide information service members need and want about issues that matter to them,” said Angela Greiling Keane, president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute. “The United States should continue to provide this information lifeline to those who give so much for all of us.”

The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, represents more than 3,000 reporters, editors and professional communicators worldwide. The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire civic engagement.