On this day, June 15, 1850, the Deseret News began a remarkable age of growth and development in the Utah Territory with a prospectus of its vision and mission for covering the news. Now, 170 years later, it is worth rereading as the media landscape stakes its claim in a new era.
“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 to the news today.
As news media evolves, the commitment of this publication to deliver true, in-depth reporting and insightful opinion and commentary is stronger than ever. The Deseret brand continues to grow on every device and platform, with a principled and value-based look at contemporary issues extending from the West and far beyond the borders of Utah and across America.
Utah is an extraordinary example of a laboratory of democracy. It’s a demonstration of what happens when a robust civil society and a free market economy are allowed to flourish.
Though many challenges lie ahead for the people of this state, including battles with health care, education, infrastructure, clean air, housing, the economy and mental health, a commitment to Utah’s strengths and a clear-eyed evaluation of its flaws will steer its people through those storms.
Through it all, the Deseret News will resolve to provide a window into the unique successes of this state and window out to Utah’s influence across the nation.
We recall with a smile a bit of wry poetry in the prospectus from 170 years ago titled, “To my friends in the valley”:
Let all who would have a good paper,
Their talents, and time ne’er abuse;
Since ’tis said, by the wise and the humored,
That the best in the world is the “News.”
We renew our commitment to rigorous journalism, being a source of light and truth and to delivering insight that uplifts, inspires and elevates conversations in this state and across the country.
We invite you to engage with us on every platform, from print to digital, and take part in the ongoing pioneering legacy of informed citizens committed to making this place and its people blossom.