Pentagon Channel

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The Pentagon Channel "broadcasts military news and information for the 2.6 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces," including U.S. Department of Defense news briefings, interviews with top Defense officials, news written by DoD staffers, and pro-military features produced by armed forces members. The channel was launched in May 2004, with $6 million in taxpayer funds. [1]

The Pentagon Channel is overseen by the American Forces Radio and Television Service.

Distribution

According to its website, "The Pentagon Channel television service is distributed 24/7 and is available to all stateside cable and satellite providers; via American Forces Radio and Television Service, overseas; and via webcast worldwide right here at pentagonchannel.mil." [2]

It is the wide availability of the Pentagon Channel to the U.S. civilian population that raises questions, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The cable TV and Internet distribution is "ostensibly so reservists and military families can watch it more easily," but "there are no numbers on how many civilians may watch." In contrast, "most other Pentagon news services have limited, military-only audiences." [3]

Content

Pentagon Channel shows include segments like "Why I Serve," which covers "members of the military and their stories, and a monthly show features military members and their families at Camp Pendleton, a Marine base near San Diego." Veteran benefits and services are highlighted on "The American Veteran." Other segments "spotlight individual branches of the military." [4]

Quotes

From news reports: [5]

  • "We provide news and information and focus on the morale of our military as well. We don't shy away from the tough stuff, but we embrace the stories that are uplifting and important for our morale." - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Allison Barber, who oversees the Pentagon Channel
  • "You would never tell a CEO that they can't talk directly to their employees. That's just what we're doing with the Pentagon Channel." - Allison Barber
  • "We are an advocate of the Department of Defense and its voice. We obviously don't air speculation out in the civilian media that questions what the department is doing or its motives." - Pentagon Channel senior producer Scott Howe

Contact details

Pentagon Channel NewsCenter
Telephone: (703) 428-0480
Fax: (703) 428-0466
E-mail: info AT pentagonchannel.mil Web: http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/

SourceWatch Resources

External links