Proud partner of Stars and StripesPublished 9:57pm Tuesday, December 3, 2013
For 140 years strong, this newspaper — and, more recently, its companion website and magazine, Suffolk Living — have been unapologetically and completely about Suffolk, devoting all of our ink and energy to chronicling the people, institutions and events of the community we proudly call home.
That will never change. The future of community media is bright, evidenced by recent investments from astute capitalists like Warren Buffett, who has been busy purchasing newspapers and getting them squarely focused on providing local news and information.
It might seem contradictory, therefore, to tell you about our newest venture, which has a decidedly regional focus. But bear with me.
We are proud to have been selected by Stars and Stripes, the newspaper that has served American troops abroad since World War II, to be the exclusive Hampton Roads printer and distributor of its weekly stateside edition.
Beginning in early 2014, we will print Stars and Stripes and distribute it every Thursday to active-duty military, Department of Defense civilians and retirees at Naval Station Norfolk, Naval Air Station Oceana, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Coast Guard Base Portsmouth, and other military installations.
The stateside edition is a strategic diversification for Stars and Stripes, whose focus historically has been abroad.
Stars and Stripes has published a newspaper continuously since World War II. Currently, it publishes a print edition overseas Monday through Thursday, a weekend edition on Friday for the Europe and Pacific theaters, and a separate Middle East edition Friday through Sunday. Stars and Stripes maintains news bureaus in Europe, Pacific and the Middle East to provide first-hand reporting on events in those theaters.
The weekly stateside edition reflects the reality of fewer troops abroad but an appetite here at home for the independent and thorough military reporting that Stars and Stripes — the only Department of Defense publication with First Amendment privileges guaranteed by Congress — is uniquely suited to provide.
Stars and Stripes wisely reached out to local publishers like us in military regions such as Hampton Roads to cost-effectively print and distribute the stateside edition.
The partnership will generate significant new revenue for our newspaper as we sell a select amount of advertising space to Hampton Roads businesses that cater to service members and their families.
That money will be reinvested partially in our Stars and Stripes partnership but, more significantly, in the Suffolk News-Herald, Suffolk Living and companion digital products.
Thus, our first venture in regional publishing, rather than a departure from our core mission, will strengthen our ability to deliver Suffolk news and information to the people of Suffolk.
Steve Stewart is publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is email@example.com.