AFPS, Pentagon Channel, Social Media to Merge
as ‘DoD News’
By John D. Banusiewicz, American
Forces Press Service.
Fort Meade, Maryland – (AFPS)
– June 30, 2014 – To better serve the service members and civilian employees of
the Defense Department and their families with the latest news about DoD,
officials at the Defense Media Activity here are combining three platforms to
form a new division they said will better deliver news and information.
On July 8, American Forces Press Service, the Pentagon
Channel and Defense Department Social Media are combining as DoD News.
“This merger allows us to harness the power of our delivery
platforms while meeting the expectations of our ever-changing audience,” said
Cathy Milhoan, DMA's DoD Production director.
New elements of DoD News will include an enhanced website at
Defense.gov, integration of Web and video news and features products and a more
comprehensive social media conversation, Milhoan said.
The DoD News broadcast channel will provide up-to-date
coverage of the most important issues in the Defense Department. Viewers will
find an up-to-the minute news ticker that will feature defense news from around
the world. New segments – DoD News Now, DoD News Update and DoD News Live --
also will launch on the broadcast channel. Throughout the day, military
audiences will be able to view leadership briefings, congressional hearings and
similar news events of interest to service members.
AFPS is the oldest brand affected by the consolidation. It
began during the Vietnam War as Armed Forces Press File, and was renamed as
American Forces Press Service in 1972. From its inception through most of the
rest of the 20th century, it was a weekly mailing of camera-ready feature
articles, photos and graphics for editors to use in installation newspapers.
Then, the World Wide Web changed everything. With the ability
to make articles available to readers directly and as soon as they were written
and edited, AFPS evolved into a news service. It continued to be available to
installation newspaper editors, but also became available to anyone with an
As AFPS transformed from a feature service for military
newspapers to a real-time news outlet for the Defense Department, its reporters
began traveling with the secretary of defense and other leaders to report on
their activities around the world, and they began covering news events in the
Pentagon and wherever DoD-related news was happening.
The Pentagon Channel launched May 14, 2004, with a live
broadcast from the Armed Forces Day joint-service open house at Andrews Air
Force Base, Maryland. Since then, it has been on the air 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, available to all military installations in the United States via
domestic satellite and overseas through the American Forces Radio and Television
The channel continued to evolve, presenting newscasts and
original programming, and its reach branched out to include major cable
television providers throughout the United States, making it available to
service members, civilian employees and their families living outside the
As social media began to proliferate in the past decade, the
Defense Department stood up an “emerging media” branch to reach its audience
that way. Quickly, sites such as Twitter and Facebook became far too developed
to be thought of as “emerging,” and officials learned that each outlet the
department was using to reach its audience could and should complement one
Milhoan acknowledged that the change turns the page on some
long-established brands, but she pledged that the consolidated effort will be
stronger than the sum of its parts.
“We are bringing a lot of experience to bear here, and now
that our new team has begun to work together closely, I believe the consolidated
effort will build a successful new brand,” she said. “I think our readers,
viewers and followers will be able to identify more readily with all of our
New Look for Defense.gov to Provide Richer Content Experience