Utah Newspapers

Newspapers in Utah reflect the stories of its landmarks from the Great Salt Lake to the famous Sundance Festival. These newspapers have grown beyond broadsheet papers, turning into digital spaces where reporting and journalism thrive. Let’s explore the biggest newspapers in Utah that have been telling stories about their communities for decades.

Matias Rodsevich  |   
2024-01-16

15 Utah newspapers

1. The Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune was established in 1871. While the paper shifted its allegiance to support the Liberal Party, traces of its religious origins remain in its dedicated section around the local Mormon community. Additionally, the printed paper and its e-edition cover local news, politics, innovation, sports, and more.

The Salt Lake Tribune, one of the best Utah newspapers

2. Vernal Express

Vernal Express was established in 2020. The paper publishes local, entertainment, sports, and agriculture news, with an emphasis on promoting small businesses through education and technology. The paper was founded by CherryRoad Technologies, an IT management service company. Due to a decline in local news investments, the CEO of CheeryRoad, Jeremy Gulban started Vernal Express to boost local businesses, coming with his passion for journalism.

3. Standard-Examiner

The Standard-Examiner covers local news, lifestyle, sports, and entertainment and includes a comics edition every Sunday. The newspaper distributes 25,000 copies daily and 30,000 copies on Sundays. The paper was established in 1888.

Standard-Examiner, one of the best Utah newspapers

4. Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Lake City Weekly is a weekly tabloid publication. The paper publishes local and national news, including a large entertainment section with music and film reviews, events, and the best of Utah’s food scene. The paper is aimed toward younger and more liberal audiences compared to most local newspapers in Utah. In the past, the paper included columns like "News Quirks" by Roland Sweet and "The Straight Dope" by Cecil Adams. Recently, the paper expanded its online content, integrating featured blogs. The paper was established in 1984.

5. Park Record

Founded in 1880, Park Record is a twice-weekly newspaper covering local news from Park City, Summit County, entertainment, and opinion pieces. The paper also releases magazine issues, including Adventure Guide, Film Festival, Milepost, and Park City’s Best. The paper was acquired by Utah billionaire, Matthew Prince and his wife, Tatiana Lingos-Webb in 2023 who plan to turn it into a public benefit corporation so it is freely available to locals and visitors.

Park Record, one of the best Utah newspapers

6. The Herald Journal

The Herald Journal was first issued in 1931. Due to the decline in newspaper readers, there was a sharp decline in the paper's circulation from 16,000 in 2014 to around 5,500, after which it switched to weekly editions only. Despite this, it still maintains an online website, publishing local news, sports, and entertainment content.

7. Deseret News

Being a Mormon state, many of Utah’s newspapers reflect the influence of the LDS Church. The Deseret News similarly reflects its state's cultural community in its religious content. In addition to local news, sports, and opinion, the paper covers Church News including news from the LDS Church and a ‘Faith’ section that features stories related to religion and religion education. The publication was the first newspaper in Utah, founded in 1850.

Deseret News, one of the best Utah newspapers

8. Daily Herald

As a community-focused paper, the Daily Herald runs on its motto “Big Picture, Local Focus.” The paper covers local and national news, human interest stories, sports news, and entertainment, alongside featured news stories and breaking news articles on its website. The paper was first issued in 1873.

9. Sun Advocate

First published in 1891, the Sun Advocate, also known as the EVE News-Sun Advocate, is a bi-weekly newspaper in Prince. The paper publishes daily local news, community events, local sports, education, and more, and is distributed to 14,000 households in Carbon and Emery Counties.

10. The Richfield Reaper

With an emphasis on community-focused news, The Richfield Reaper covers local news, high school sports, and more. Alongside its printed publication, the paper also publishes daily breaking news stories, the latest headlines, events, and obituaries on its online website. The paper was founded in 1885.

11. Box Elder News Journal

As a result of a merger between the Box Elder Journal and Box Elder News, the Box Elder News Journal was established in 1937. The Brigham city-based newspaper covers local news, sports, business, and community affairs. Being a Morman paper, its online website also includes wedding and LDS Missionary announcements.

12. Tooele Transcript-Bulletin

The Tooele Transcript-Bulletin was first published in 1894. The Tooele-based newspaper publishes its newspapers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays covering hometown news, latest sports, outdoor activities, opinion pieces, and religion-related columns.

13. The Times-Independent

The Times-Independent, also known as T-I was founded in Moab in 1896. The paper was a family-owned business before being donated to The Salt Lake Tribune through which it has operated as a non-profit since 2019. The paper publishes daily weekly news, sports, environment, outdoors, and government affairs for the city of Moad, Grand County, and Southeast Utah.

14. Iron County Today

Iron County Today, launched in 2008, is a weekly newspaper. Beyond local news, sports, and entertainment, the paper covers county events, small businesses, and human interest stories around Cedar City, Enoch, Parowan, and communities in Southern Utah. Similar to other newspapers in Utah, the paper also has a special focus on faith and religion.

15. UVU Review

UVU Review was launched in 2008 as a student newspaper for Utah Valley University. The paper is published bi-weekly in a printed broadsheet format by the student media department at the university. The UVU Review also has an extensive digital presence with an online website that features podcasts, social media, and video broadcasts.

Capturing communities

Whether it's capturing the essence of the Great Salt Lake, getting into city events, or understanding the narratives of Mormonism, these newspapers emerge as storytellers of Utah's communities. Influential publications underscore the dedication to uniting communities across Utah's diverse neighborhoods.

FAQ

The Salt Lake Tribune is the largest newspaper in Utah followed by Deseret Morning News coming second. As of 2015, the Tribune had a circulation of around 74,000 daily. Due to COVID-19, the paper ended its daily print distribution, turning into a weekly paper while maintaining online news on its website which has approximately 36,000 subscribers. The publication also ended its partnership with Deseret Morning News which had spanned almost 70 years.

The newspaper was owned by multiple companies and hedge funds before it was sold to Paul Huntsman in 2016. After financial instability, the publication was the first for-profit company to be granted the right to become a nonprofit. It still offers print and digital subscriptions and advertising but operates mostly through donations.

Deseret News is the oldest newspaper in the state, associated with the dominant religion in Utah. The Mormon paper was founded in 1850 to bring news to its isolated settlers who had no connection to the rest of the country. It is a subdivision of Deseret Management Corporation which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Deseret News is one of the longest continuously published papers with more than 170 years of establishment. The paper maintains an online website that gets around 98,000 readers weekly and a print circulation of around 40,000 as of 2014. Alongside politics, current events, and entertainment, the paper has a large focus on Church News and editorials on faith, family, and LDS values.

Newspaper ownership diverges across the world in terms of ownership laws and regulations. Across the United States, newspapers and media regulation is overseen by the Federal Communications Commission and has an emphasis on freedom of the press with limited government involvement in media.

Majority of the newspapers in the United States, including Utah, are owned by large media corporations, individuals, or joint companies. While the United States has limits in terms of cross-ownership, the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970 authorized joint operations among newspapers competing in the same market. This granted the two largest newspapers in Utah, The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News to work together.

Newspapers in Utah are owned by individuals, large corporations, non-profit, or Church Owned. The Salt Lake Tribune was a corporate-owned newspaper before being privately owned by businessman Paul Huntsman. It is now a non-profit entity and works through donations, charity, advertisements, and subscriptions.

Another popular newspaper in Utah, The Richfield Reaper was born out of the technology company CherryRoad Technologies. This paper is owned and run by its CEO, Jeremy Gulban. Similarly, there are various independent and family-owned newspapers still surviving in Utah, including Park Record, Moab Sun News, and The Times-Independent.

Large newspapers have better resources to acquire multiple newspapers across the United States, which is the case in Utah. With the decline of newspapers, most local papers are merged or bought by chain companies. For example, some of the largest newspapers in Utah including Deseret News, Standard-Examiner, and Daily Herald are owned by companies like Digital First Media, Alden Global Capital, and Deseret Management Corporation.

Social media and the publication's website are the best way to reach out to Utah newspapers. These typically include email addresses, phone numbers, and contract forms to relevant departments in the newsroom. Most publications in Utah are active on social media, mostly Twitter and LinkedIn, and accept tips and press releases. This is also a great way to find direct contacts of reporters and editors.

Matias Rodsevich
CEO of PRHive
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