It saddens me to abruptly announce that this edition of The Journal is the final issue.
Today, at the request of our publisher, we’re signing off on the final issue of NSA Bethesda’s newspaper. Since 2016, when it became apparent that our publisher was unsure of the paper’s viability, we’ve continually pushed for The Journal to remain in production. Unfortunately, despite that push and much effort to keep The Journal going, our publisher has succumbed to the reality that continuing publication is no longer economically feasible.
This paper, in various forms, has served our installation here in Bethesda since 1989. In that time, the paper has published at least 6,000 articles and an unknown number of photographs covering the people who have worked hard to take care of our service members and the families who support them.
As social media has grown and online content has gained popularity, it has become more difficult for smaller, localized newspapers to compete. The “dead tree format” has had a tough time competing with mobile devices and electronic screens; the consequence has been the decline of newspapers across military installations throughout the Department of Defense.
You may wonder what’s next and have the same questions I did when this decision was rendered.
First, will there be an electronic version of The Journal?
Unfortunately, no. This issue marks the last of The Journal. There will be no electronic version that continues without the printed version.
Second, is this temporary until another newspaper contract is established?
No. Commander, Naval Installations Command, Naval District Washington manages the regional newspaper contract that includes this paper. They will not be soliciting for another publisher to step in and continue the papers that are being discontinued in the NDW region.
Finally, what will replace the paper?
We’re working on a plan now. We’ve known this was a possibility for some time and my public affairs team has been strategizing and focusing on other outlets for communicating the great things you all are doing, including Facebook, Instagram and Department of Defense websites.
This doesn’t mark the end of telling your incredible stories. Keep reaching out to us with your good news. With or without a newspaper, the mission continues, and the great work taking place here at NSA Bethesda doesn’t stop. We WILL find a way to make sure that your people, your work and your awesome successes are continuing to be recognized – just as we always have with The Journal.
You can count on that.
Thank you for your years of patronage and support.
Signing off – Capt. Jones and the team at NSA Bethesda’s The Journal.