A letter from MRE President Amy McCullough

Dear Members,

Military Reporters & Editors saw a lot of success in 2015, but we need your help to ensure this year is even better.

MRE_150Last year, U.S. Pacific Command boss Adm. Harry Harris headlined our annual conference, held at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C. We partnered with Medill’s National Security Journalism Initiative for a cybersecurity seminar, during which Aaron Rinehart, founder and chief executive officer of Testbed Inc., taught us how to encrypt sensitive information. In addition, we held a Twitter town hall with Dan Lamothe, national security reporter at The Washington Post, and Travis Tritten, a reporter for Stars and Stripes, both of whom are MRE members.

Most importantly, we continued to fight for you by working with U.S. military officials to release information of interest to the public. As Adam Ashton, MRE member and reporter with The News-Tribune, writes:

For two years, my newspaper and a couple allies outside of Seattle got the runaround from the Army and from US Central Command when we asked them to release their investigation into Robert Bales’ Kandahar massacre. They always had a new excuse to delay or deny our FOIA requests when their own deadlines for disclosure passed.

Military Reporters & Editors helped us cut past the lawyers and public affairs officers to get CENTCOM to do the right thing. Two years after Bales began a life sentence, we finally obtained a comprehensive report that revealed lapses in oversight at his outpost and pulled back the curtain on the Army’s systemic challenges in preparing soldiers for the unusual mission it handed to Bales in 2012.

Working with MRE helped us present a united front to CENTCOM leaders that allowed us to shed light on uncovered aspects of one of the Afghanistan war’s worst atrocities.”

Going forward in 2016, we are already busy planning more seminars, Twitter town halls and the annual conference. We are also developing a partnership with the Defense Information School (DINFOS) to improve communication between journalists and public affairs officers. We think the partnership will be of significant benefit to all involved.

However, MRE is a small, volunteer-run nonprofit and we could use your help. All of these events cost money and our funds are running low. We welcome donations of any size to help fund the 2016 conference and future seminars. And if your membership has lapsed, please consider renewing as soon as possible to benefit from our resources.

We believe strongly in the value of this organization and want to see it succeed well into the future. We look forward to working with you in 2016!

Sincerely,

Amy McCullough

MRE President