Joint Hometown News Service

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The Joint Hometown News Service is part of the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Media Activity. The San Antonio, Texas-based operation produces "a variety of print and electronic news products highlighting the accomplishments, and worldwide activities of individual members of the Armed Forces." More than "14,000 newspapers, television and radio stations" subscribe to the service, including media outlets in every U.S. state. The program is "over 40 years" old; until October 2008, it was called the Army & Air Force Hometown News Service. [1]

According to the Associated Press, there are disclosure issues with Hometown News products. "Readers are not told [that] each of these glowing stories was written by Pentagon staff. Under the free service, stories go out with authors' names but not their titles, and do not mention Hometown News anywhere. In 2009, Hometown News plans to put out 5,400 press releases, 3,000 television releases" -- or video news releases -- "and 1,600 radio interviews" -- or audio news releases -- "among other work -- 50 percent more than in 2007." [2]

The Hometown News website lists the newspapers, television and radio stations that subscribe to its service.

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Articles and resources

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  1. "About us," Joint Hometown News Service website, accessed February 2009.
  2. Chris Tomlinson, "AP Impact: Pentagon boosts spending on PR," Associated Press, February 5, 2009.

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