Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cuts at the Deseret News

The Deseret News, (Founded in 1850 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) announced last week that it is planning on laying off some 35 of its 200 employees due to decreased revenues and readership. This comes as no surprise to this conservative, especially since the D-News decision to turn hard left since the late 90s. KSL and other media pundits blame the shrinking revenues on items like blogs, Internet, and free online ads. While all of those things create a more competitive environment for print papers, they are not the source of the problems facing most newspapers.

One only needs to look at the viewpoints espoused by the Editorial Board and the writing staff at the Salt Lake based paper to see the problems. The paper (with the exception of its views on the LDS Church) focuses one appeasing to environmentalist, big government programs, "unity" issues, tax increases, anti-business sentiments (i.e. "tax the bastards to death") and an open disdain for traditional political values held by most Utahns.

Being in business myself, I know that the Paper has lost its core responsibility of delivering to its readers what they want. People, especially those who read papers, don't want thinly veiled propaganda and talking points from the United Nations from a supposedly "right of center" newspaper. I point to the Wall Street Journal. While hundreds of papers are downsizing and fretting about their future in five years, the WSJ continues year after year growth. Why? Because the WSJ knows it audience and gives them the news and stories they expect from a pro-business newspaper. Do you believe for one minute that the WSJ's circulation would be increasing if it took every chance it could to kick the beliefs of its readership? NO! Then why do the editors at the Deseret News believe they can put down the believes of its potential customers and expect them to subscribe in droves?

The Deseret News was a once decent paper. (I subscribed to it until 2005) Now it tries to play second fiddle and little brother the the SL Tribune. Stop walking in the shadow of that paper, stand up, deliver the quality of news expected by the conservative majority within Utah. Stop putting down businesses, quit pushing for tax increases when they are not needed. Stay away from the KSL editorial board! That group continues to represent itself as the voice of the Priesthood. It is not the mouthpiece of the Church. The members of the KSL and D-News editorial board represent their personal "feel good" politics of shame. In order for these organizations to survive without the aid of the Church they need to better represent the population of Utah.

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