Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: The Future of the Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune recently cut a number of newsroom positions and eliminated their Saturday religion section. We asked our “Political Insiders” and readers what the future holds for the Tribune. Results and anonymous comments after the jump.

Selected anonymous comments:

“The Tribune is a paper that has some very good reporters, but has poor management.”

“The Tribune will simply print Twitter feeds, since no one will remain to actually collect news.”

“I subscribed to the paper for years, changing from full time to Sundays and back again…. I started just looking for events, coupons, Sunday specials to I no longer subscribe. I access info on the Internet, coupons were cut out and not used, and they will probably do a combination of the above to keep afloat.”

“If the Trib goes away, what will all the state’s crazies who write in the comments section do with their spare time?”

“The Tribune will eventually be sold to another entity that will realize that offending 65% of your potential customers by being anti-Mormon, anti-Utah and anti-Republican/conservative is not a winning business plan. Read the editorial page or the comment section for a sense of the attitudes reflected by this paper. Sadly there is a big niche in Utah for a fair, balanced and independent newspaper. Unfortunately that is NOT the Salt Lake Tribune!”

“The golden age of the newspaper ended a few years back. Instead of broadening its appeal to entire state through objective story telling, it continues to hone its message to the uber-liberal, mormon hating, avenues types. Not much of a business model.”

“Ultimately, SLC will become a one [daily] newspaper town. We’re already close to that now with the limited offerings from the Trib and the number of DN reporters now on the Trib’s staff who still write like DNews staff. Trib will place a huge emphasis on the ad-laden super annoying online version. Reporters will be given hourly or 3 times daily deadlines for reporting via online stories. Online stories will continue to be grammar-, content-, accuracy-. and relevance-challenged. On the bright side, readership of other online news sources will be fostered. The Humane Society will be suffer from decreased donations of newspapers for pet bedding.”

“I am very, very worried about the Tribune. The fact that I don’t always agree with its editorial board is irrelevant to the fact that I depend on the Tribune for political, environmental, and education news in Utah. I am LDS and enjoy a lot of the D-News side stuff about families and religion (and disagree frequently with its editorial board as well), BUT that paper has abdicated any responsibility for local investigative journalism.”

“I don’t care what form it takes–old-fashioned print or electronic only–but the Tribune has to survive and smart, professional and well-trained journalists need to keep up their work.”

“This is very sad. I wish we could save the Tribune!”

“It will be a tragedy for this community and state if the Tribune ever folds.”

“Perhaps if they removed the bias maybe they wouldn’t be losing readers?”

“Papers don’t make money anymore. You need to be propped up by another company who wants to write off a little of their profits.”

“I don’t think any of us have real understanding of the Tribune’s finances and internal problems. I would be shocked if the Tribune does not survive in some form or fashion to continue to provide an alternative voice. I don’t think it would be good for the Deseret News to have no competition.”

“I don’t have any knowledge of the Tribune’s financial situation, but as an LDS conservative I believe it would be a tragedy if Utah lost the excellent and professional perspective the Tribune has provided for generations.”

“The good news for the Tribune is there will always be a market for their anti-republican and anti-Mormon perspective.”

“I’d love for them to find a way to make things work, maintain good quality reporting in a timely manner. I can’t remember the last time I picked up an actual paper though. It’s all online now.”

“There’s not as much money to be made in complaining about Mormons and Republicans as the Tribune’s owners think there is. Rolly needs to expand his shtick to include more than dissing Utah County and voucher supporters.”

“The SL trib is more fair to both conservatives and liberals. The Deseret News isn’t yet.”

“The future of the publishing industry is changing rapidly. The Trib and Des News find themselves in the middle of what the big papers are discovering all the time, the internet is a game changer for publishing. It is funny that the papers have long tried to prevent bloggers from being called the press, but if a paper goes online, what will be the difference between an online paper and a blog when it comes to freedom of the press issues?”