Common areas in nearly 2,700 US military facilities will no longer show news programs on their televisions, opting instead for the military's own information service, called EXTV, or sports programming, according to a memo sent out by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service on Monday.
"As a federal entity, we remain neutral on political issues. News channels should not be shown on common area TVs due to their divisive political nature," the memo stated.
"Providing store guidance regarding operations is an ordinary course of action for the Exchange," Chris Ward, senior public affairs manager for AAFES, told Stars and Stripes Wednesday, adding that the agency's guidelines include "the flexibility to make adjustments based on the news of the day and local needs."
One US airman, Pfc. Tyler White, told Stars and Stripes he agreed with the policy change "one hundred percent," telling the news service that "politics should stay out of the work environment."
However, another, Staff Sgt. Manuel Cardona, said that news programs offered him a rare chance to catch world headlines during his busy work day, opining to Stars and Stripes that "we're getting too… sensitive about these things."