All Now Mysterious...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Start Spreading the (Local) News

I have some difficulty finding reliable, in-depth local news coverage here in Salt Lake City. Sure, the TV and radio stations have news broadcasts, but there's only so much that can be covered in a half-hour or one hour broadcast.  So I look to the city's two local newspapers, the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune for local news and analysis. Both publications are available in both electronic and dead tree editions, although I usually only read the electronic versions. Both are decent newspapers, but each has its own problems.

The main difficulty I have with the Deseret News is the amount of actual news it carries. The Deseret News is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' media group. As such, the paper carries a lot of LDS-specific content, articles and stories that you'd really only be interested in if you're a member of the LDS Church. I am a member of the Church, of course, and I enjoy that kind of content sometimes--but it's not the main reason I read the paper. I read the paper to read the news. I wish the Deseret News would focus more on the news and a little less on fluff. Having said that, I find the Deseret News' sports section to be superior, especially with regard to local high school sports.

The Salt Lake Tribune is a little better in terms of reporting the news. It carries more news stories and better news reporting, in many cases. But it also has a lot of non-news. Specifically, the Tribune often presents 'news' stories on its front page that end up being op-ed pieces criticizing the LDS Church, the Republican Party, or some other acceptable target that some Tribune staff writer has a bug up his butt about today. (These can usually be identified by names like "Rolly" in the byline.) In some ways, I think the Tribune exists solely as the Anti-Deseret News. If the Deseret News ever died, the Tribune would die shortly thereafter because it would no longer have any purpose or mission. And don't even get me started on the reader comments that follow pretty much every story, no matter how seemingly innocuous. Pat Bagley's political cartoons are usually pretty funny, though.

I understand that each paper has its own target audience. I understand that newspapers live and die by papers sold and page views received, and that they market themselves accordingly. And I suppose I should be glad to have two choices available here. Denver's got only one newspaper these days, the Rocky Mountain News having gone the way of the wooly mammoth a few years back. So the fact that there are two options is good.

I just wish they were both better options.


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