The Pentagon’s daily compilation of published defense-related news and commentary closed down Nov. 1.
“The No. 1 driver behind this decision is change in the business model for news corporations,” Army Col. Steve Warren, director of Pentagon press operations, wrote in a memo explaining the decision. “Every news outlet is now online.”
Early Bird was officially created in 1965 by a Defense Department directive, but news clipping publications had existed in the military services since at least 1948. Read more from the American Forces Press Service.
The king is dead, long live the king! The very same day, Defence News announced the birth of a new commercial product, available – at least for now – free to evrybody, not just to the US military community.
Now the Early Bird Brief is available to everyone, regardless of whether you’re a subscriber. Defense News and Military Times staff build it from scratch, with no reliance on any Defense Department clipping service. The process goes on nearly nonstop, with world overnight reports added well before the sun rises over the Pentagon as the daily report takes shape by mixing in news scoops, stories of unique interest, blog posts and and more.
I tried it and it seems to do what promised.
Beware that there are other products now offered as replacement to the old ‘Early Bird’. National Journal for instance announced that it will fill the void with National Journal’s Early Bird, a new early morning newsletter that will offer the same up-to-the-second coverage of defense policy that made the Pentagon’s product a must-read.
If the commercial world is competing to fill the gap, it seems the Pentagon lost an opportubnity to continue to distribute its own product just making it a joint venture with any of the now competitors.