MOMC: Teen spends a day as a Stripes reporter

MOMC: Teen spends a day as a Stripes reporter

by Noah, Age 15
Stripes Okinawa

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a journalist? I was invited to step inside the shoes of a reporter for Stars and Stripes. Read along as I head to the Pentagon, attend a press gaggle (find out what that is in my article!), and visit the Washington, D.C. offices of Stars and Stripes.

The Pentagon, near Washington, D.C. I meet up with the Pentagon reporter for Stars and Stripes, Ms. Tara Copp. The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense.

The Pentagon is colossal. It has 276 restrooms and can fit twenty-six football fields, which means it encompasses more than 6 million square feet of floor space. The building’s unique structure allows a person with an average stride to reach the farthest points in under ten minutes.

Tara shows me around to the different media outlets and reporters located inside the Pentagon. Some of the news outlets have rooms where they can report, write and keep up with the fast paced incoming news. Around twenty to twenty-five correspondents work at the Pentagon daily. Tara described the other reporters working at the Pentagon as, “very cordial,” which is an extremely accurate description from our visit.
Tara was one of the first reporters embedded in Iraq in 2003. Before working for Stars and Stripes, she was a college student at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was the Editor of The Daily Texan. She earned her Master’s Degree from Georgetown University majoring in Security Studies. While security studies and journalism may not seem to go hand in hand, the topics actually complement each other when it comes to the type of reporting that Tara has to do for Stars and Stripes.

Understanding what you are reporting about can truly enhance your ability to produce quality reporting.

Tara informed me ahead of time that I would be attending a “press gaggle,” which is a less formal press conference. At the gaggle, I had the opportunity to ask the following question on behalf of other military kids and families to the DoD spokesman.

Stars and Stripes Headquarters. I meet with the staff to learn more about the newspaper and to have lunch.

A crucial objective of Stars and Stripes is to report as much of the issue as possible and to allow the reader to create their own opinion.

Since the newspaper must generate and publish news 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they have multiple resources to do so. The Washington headquarters handles everything from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Once the clock rings 6 p.m., they send all the information needed to keep publishing and generating news for the military and its families to the Pacific headquarters. At first you might think that the headquarters is in California, but it is actually located in Okinawa, Japan!

Once the Japan headquarters throws in the towel for the day, the Stars and Stripes head- quarters based in Germany picks it up. Then the Germany based headquarters transfers all info back to the Washington headquarters. This cycle continues in order to get the latest and greatest news to your doorstep!

Hopefully my experience has enhanced your appreciation for Stars and Stripes and the reporting they produce for service members and their families. Providing clear, concise and quality reporting is crucial in today’s society and that’s exactly what Stars and Stripes does everyday.

Military families who once lived overseas or do live overseas may be worried that President Trump wants to lessen the U.S.’s financial support of NATO. Will doing that decrease the protection of military bases overseas?

We have attempted to get all other NATO countries to commit to the standard 2 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the safety of our military and their families is of high priority and that is something we will not compromise on.

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