Sunday, August 15, 2010

Trouble for the Deseret News

Excerpts of Bad news for DNews, Salt Lake Crawler: Glen Warchol, Salt Lake Tribune

Utah's journalism and political communities have been buzzing the last couple weeks with rumors of an impending implosion of the Deseret News. Let me concisely repeat the rumors:

• In the next few weeks, a significant part of the DNews staff will be laid off.

• What remains will leave the Deseret News building in the heart of downtown to be resettled with KSL in the Triad Center.

• The DNews will no longer publish daily, but three days or so a week (it would, of course, continue to exist online with Mormon Times).

Salt Lake City Weekly's Josh Loftin, a former DNews editor and reporter, tries to make sense of the weak signal coming from inside the monolith of Mormon Media under new strongman Mark Willes.

Despite the recent de-evolution of the 150-year-old DNews under Editor Joe Cannon and Willes from the "Christian Science Monitor of the West" to a LDS faith-promoting publication with a purged political staff, it still remained a player in Utah's media, particularly in state government coverage.

Newspapers, including The Tribune, have struggled the last few years with declining revenues following the online information revolution, but the DNews also has been buffeted by pressures to publish news with a positive slant and to advance the LDS religion. Such goals are, of course, an anathema to good journalism.

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