On June 15, 1850, the Deseret News began a remarkable journalistic journey in the remote mountain valleys of what was then called Deseret Territory and which would eventually become the state of Utah. On a wrought-iron press, hauled by oxen across the continent, the Deseret News established a powerful pioneering voice on the outskirts of the American frontier with a vision that was bold and audacious.
Now, 170 years later, with its news on all media platforms, in this new transformational era, we invite all to go back to this organization’s founding prospectus for an instructive glimpse into the principles and purposes undergirding this remarkable enterprise and the vision we believe will propel us toward a most extraordinary future.
Prospectus. June 15, 1850
Motto – “Truth and Liberty.”
We propose to publish a small weekly sheet, as large as our local circumstances will permit, to be called ‘Deseret News,’ designed originally to record the passing events of our state, and in connexion, refer to the arts and sciences, embracing general education, medicine, law, divinity, domestic and political economy, and every thing that may fall under our observation, which may tend to promote the best interest, welfare, pleasure and amusement of our fellow citizens.
We hold ourselves responsible to the highest Court of truth for our intentions, and the highest Court of equity for our execution. When we speak, we shall speak freely, without regard to men or party, and when, like other men, we err, let him who has his eyes open, correct us in meekness, and he shall receive a disciple’s reward.
We shall ever take pleasure in communicating foreign news as we have opportunity; in receiving communications from our friends, at home and abroad; and solicit ornaments for the “News” from our poets and poetesses.
Truth and liberty continue as a driving force in the paper’s rigorous journalistic approach today.
As news media continues to evolve, the commitment of this publication to deliver truth, in-depth reporting and insightful opinion in print and online is stronger than ever.
Many have forecast the beginning of the end of rigorous journalism, in-depth reporting and enlightened opinion and commentary.
We disagree. What some might see as an end, we see as a beginning. After 170 years, the Deseret News sees today as a hinge point in news media history. The Deseret News is prepared and positioned to serve the state and the nation as a bold, noble and independent voice. Readers, influencers and thought leaders will access important insights, experience greater understanding and explore essential principles in new and exciting ways — online and in print.
Utah is an extraordinary example of a laboratory of democracy and of what happens when civil society is strong, religious freedom is practiced and a free market economy is allowed to flourish. Contrary to the polarized perspectives rampant today, the Deseret News provides a “window in” to what’s working in America and gives voice to the heart and soul of the nation.
It’s time to challenge ourselves and our audiences to step back from divisive rhetoric, step away from the angry war of words, step forward into the principles that unite the nation and step up in the climb toward elevated dialogue.
Our principled foundation is as firm as the mountains around us. Our goals are audacious and our vision is grand. The Deseret News has been here before — 170 years ago. We know the pioneering path and are ready for the climb. We intend to lead and plant the standard of journalistic excellence and inspiring commentary high in the rocky mountains for all to see — focused on principles, light and truth.
Principled. Illuminating. News.
We invite you to engage with us on every platform from digital to print and be part of the ongoing pioneering legacy of informed and engaged citizens committed to making this place, this nation and this world better.
Editor’s note: The Deseret News will share some of its future plans and product strategies on Oct. 27.