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Wright Times changes ownership: 4th FW Public Affairs shifts to Web-based news delivery

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Many say it's hard to tell where the base ends and the community begins around Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and this line will soften even more as the Wright Times transitions to community ownership May 2007.

"We are delighted to be able to continue a relationship with the 4th Fighter Wing and the Wright Times that began some 50 years ago," said Hal Tanner, Jr, Goldsboro News-Argus publisher. "This is another example of the close ties between the folks at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the businesses and citizens of Goldsboro and Wayne County." 

The Wright Times is now published twice per month as public affairs transforms daily operations into a strategic communications office. The primary vessel for up-to-date news on Seymour Johnson will nowbe the public Web page, www.seymourjohnson.af.mil. There will also be a weekly electronic summary highlighting a few of the news articles. 

Those who enjoy a print copy of the Wright Times can still get it. Using content produced by public affairs and official military sources, the News-Argus will design a print edition serving Team Seymour. 

Air Force-wide it takes approximately 4,000 man-hours a week to produce a hard-copy newspaper. This equates to an estimated $16 million annually, according to a public affairs working group comprised of members from multiple major commands and the Air Force level. In line with AFSO-21 and leadership's instruction to leverage new technologies, the information normally found in the base paper will be available on the Seymour Johnson Web site. 

Since Air Force public affairs lost 35 percent of their manning, production of a base newspaper can be handed over to our local publisher. 

"We've lost 45 percent of our manning locally, and almost half of our military members will be deploying this summer," said Capt. Tana Stevenson, public affairs chief. "Although our strategic communications plan includes merging with visual information in the upcoming months, they will still bring their mission along with them." 

The public affairs office will continue to get critical information out to a much wider audience. Deployed personnel, family members, retirees who live a considerable distance from base and people on leave outside the local area will all have access to base information since most community libraries and a majority of American households and businesses have Internet access. 

"Our office can get news out much faster which will be useful for our Airmen," Capt. Stevenson said. "Currently, if something happens on a Wednesday, it misses the production deadline and can't run until the following Friday's paper, nearly 10 days later. Now, something that happens on a Friday morning can be published on our Web site as quick as we can draft the story and clear it for publication."

The venture between the base and the News-Argus is advantageous to the community and the Team Seymour. 

"The News-Argus has been a strong supporter of the military in general and Seymour Johnson in particular. We look forward to continuing the tradition", said Mr. Tanner. 

"This is just one more example of the great working relationships between the base and the community," added Capt. Stevenson.
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