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DoD News Aggregation Service "The Early Bird" Dead After 65 Years

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the as-birds-go-that's-quite-a-run dept.

The Military 25

SanDogWeps writes "Periodically viewed as copyright infringement by the media, the Department of Defense's 'Early Bird' has been delivering applicable headlines to the Armed Forces since 1948. It stopped updating on October 1st, along with a number of other government products, but when the lights turned back on, The Early Bird remained dark. A number of reasons have been floated, including applicability in the internet age, cost, and a lack of interest. Others claim The Early Bird was nothing more than a propaganda machine, by culling articles that painted DoD in a favorable light."

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25 comments

The only constant is (1)

mt1955 (698912) | about 6 months ago | (#45306767)

... Is Change and not always for the better

Re:The only constant is (5, Insightful)

INT_QRK (1043164) | about 6 months ago | (#45306917)

Re "others claim The Early Bird was nothing more than a propaganda machine, by culling articles that painted DoD in a favorable light": Anyone who actually read the Earlybird over the years would know that this statement is patently untrue, as the service would routinely would feature articles that were unfavorable. I always thought that the reason would have to be so that readers would be afforded visibility on the range of relevant signals in the air, including the good, the bad and ugly.

Re:The only constant is (0)

gl4ss (559668) | about 6 months ago | (#45310003)

maybe they seemed unfavorable if you didn't see the stuff they left out....

Re:The only constant is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45310539)

That is untrue in itself. The reason it was viewed as a huge copyright violation was because they did a direct copy of the article from the source (They did reference the official source of the article as well). Nothing was left out because you could visit the original source of the article and view the exact same story (Word for word). The articles were interest stories to the Department of Defense whether they were painting DoD in a positive light or a negative light.

It was something I read every morning to keep up to date on what has happening in DoD and how I performed my daily job. It will be missed from this reader.

Re:The only constant is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45310835)

Dear dumb moron,

English, mothafucka! Do you read it?!?

It says "culling ... a favorable light". That would mean they removed the favorable articles, and kept the unfavorable ones.

Sincerely,
Somebody who thinks you're a dumb moron

You are correct... (1)

SanDogWeps (2882399) | about 6 months ago | (#45326005)

In my desire to be wordy, I failed in the accuracy department. I stand corrected. Your delivery, however... Meh. Though granted, it is the internet...

Re:The only constant is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45313029)

WoW. So let me get this straight people are saying that the 'early bird' is a propaganda machine. Really. I guess this is reported by our super duper crack team of investivative journalists that run the U.S. media corporation. I can not think of any paid news organization in the United States that is not a propoganda outlet for something. Seriously, I call out a challenge to the major U.S. news outlets. I challenge you to become more superficial, more sensational, less fact driven, and more responsive to the commercial interests that back your 'fact finding missions of truth(tm).' I don't think they can do it. The common denominator has droped so low, that there is litterally noone on the face of the planet earth that doesn't realize fucktarded you guys are.

PBS T.V. (not radio) is the one counter example. They sometimes can relate to the audience at a 5th grade level. As for CNN and Fox, I really can't believe anyone could take this shit seriously. Seriously why not just replace the 5 o clock news with spong bob square pants. Why can't we keep the 'early bird', and just get rid of every single reporter and news organization in the USA. We would not miss you at all, and would be better informed. Yes I can make up the 'news' in my head and and have it be a more accurate and less biased view of the world than I would ever get from watching 'fair and balanced news' or what ever tag line some of the other news stations are putting up along with their laser beams and cool graphics that flash by constantly as they are keeping me informed of the 'pulse of the nation'

Anyone who believes (5, Informative)

joshki (152061) | about 6 months ago | (#45306987)

that the Early Bird posted only articles that painted the DOD in a favorable light, has never read the Early Bird. And I say this as one who read the Early Bird for about the last decade and a half.

Re: Anyone who believes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307227)

I haven't read it for 13 years but how different was it from google news, twitter feeds and every other modern form of news curation?

Re: Anyone who believes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307507)

Think of it as either being a clipping service (if your recollection got that far back) or a customized news feed to show the relevant news for you and your industry. It would save you from having to hunt through the news, and also bring to your attention things you may have missed. A time saver.

Re: Anyone who believes (1)

FPhlyer (14433) | about 6 months ago | (#45308665)

The point is that with Google News I can have google setup curated clipping services for all of the same keywords that military public affairs staff members used to aggregate sources to create the Early Bird. There is nothing in the Early Bird that can't be replicated using publicly available tools at a greatly reduced cost to DoD.

Why? (0)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 6 months ago | (#45309363)

Sorry, but I'd like to see at least some unsubstantiated arguments for your opinion. Proof of those would be even better, but this being slashdot, I'm not counting on much. A score 5 comment without anything but an opinion? C'mon mods, you're not even trying anymore....

Re:Why? (1)

joshki (152061) | about 6 months ago | (#45321107)

It's an expert opinion. You can easily go back and look at the editorials in the early bird as I have for a number of years. There's no attempt to mislead there, they put in both sides of the story.

Culling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45307861)

Culling the Early Birds. No survivors, all articles that are neutral or show the DoD in a bad light are now to be found elsewhere.

Questionable Obsolescence (1)

Galatamon (1771768) | about 6 months ago | (#45308219)

I'm wondering if there's an equivalent replacement around, or if, more likely, deployed submariners and other DoD personnel with limited data access are just expected to suck it up and deal with the complete lack of off-hull news for months on end.

Set to be replaced by "free market" spin jobs and (2)

Machupo (59568) | about 6 months ago | (#45308285)

Great... my first cuppa read through of the overnight happenings is defunct and the first email I get is from the army times touting their "alternative". But why would we want the soldier caste to have a nonpartisan/independent run-down of the news? FML...

As a submariner.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45308351)

I'm greatly disappointed by this. I understand that my service, particularly on an SSBN, is one of the few remaining parts of the military without constant connectivity, but that hardly improves my mood. The Early Bird was the least biased and most lengthy of the small amounts of news that could occasionally make it across on the passive broadcast. I just hope not too much happens for the rest of the year.

Re:As a submariner.. (1)

FPhlyer (14433) | about 6 months ago | (#45308693)

When I did public affairs on surface ships we would get a daily news feed (not the Early Bird) in daily message traffic that provided news from the AP Wire that was considerably more well-rounded then the DoD-specific news in the Early Bird. You don't get that under the sea?

Re:As a submariner.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45310683)

We do get bits of AP wire occasionally, but it isn't substantial. Generally you'll get it once or twice a week and you would only get summaries of two to four articles. Certainly better than nothing, but you could count on getting the entire early bird every week or two and it included much greater quantity, length, and variety.

I was underway for that Boston business a while back. Only getting messages from AP wire we knew that it happened, but there was incredibly little context. It took a few weeks before the little bits that AP wire gave up made much sense.

3 people did it (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#45308991)

In the paper era, the Early Bird had a little printing plant. By the end, it was down to 3 people and a Cold Fusion template.

It was never for DoD PR. It was more about pulling rather obscure stories, often about DoD procurement or administration, into a brief summary for DoD managers. Something like "Gen. Smith takes command of USARPAC" barely rates notice in the civilian press, but it's a big deal in the Army.

Re:3 people did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45311815)

In the paper era, the Early Bird had a little printing plant. By the end, it was down to 3 people and a Cold Fusion template.

It was never for DoD PR. It was more about pulling rather obscure stories, often about DoD procurement or administration, into a brief summary for DoD managers. Something like "Gen. Smith takes command of USARPAC" barely rates notice in the civilian press, but it's a big deal in the Army.

Psh, if anyone in the Army could read they'd have gone Air Force.

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