Pentagon Abandons Early Bird News Service

The Defense Department has terminated the Early Bird, its daily compilation of published defense-related news and commentary. The nearly 50-years-old news-clipping service ended on Nov. 1. Army Col. Steven Warren, director of defense press operations, stopped the service after a six-month review, according to a Nov. 4 Pentagon release. “The Early Bird stopped doing what it was supposed to do,” which was inform the DOD leadership, he said. Instead, it had grown to supporting White House and National Security Council officials, members of Congress, and other agencies as well, he said. It “became too powerful,” sometimes giving smaller stories an audience that outweighed their importance, said Warren. Further, by redistributing content from online publications, including those with pay walls for content for which DOD hadn’t paid, the Early Bird was “driving away traffic” from those websites, said Warren. “I felt like I was doing the wrong thing,” he said. Looking ahead, defense leaders “will absolutely continue to receive the news information that they need,” said Warren. “They will not be uninformed,” he said. Meanwhile, the Daily Report continues to be available Monday through Friday. Click here to sign up to receive it via e-mail.