The corporate bosses at Deseret Media now have six months’ experience with Deseret Connect, a Website aiming to fill the gaping news hole created when the Deseret News laid off 85 professional journalists in 2010. The Website pays paltry sums to bloggers to write just about anything [see “Called to Freelance,” Jan 11., CityWeekly.net]. How it’s going depends on whom you ask.
“I’m afraid that hearing about stories such as a ‘small-town high school volleyball rivalry’ doesn’t actually make me want to read Deseret Connect,” wrote Janean.
“As a longtime reader of the Deseret News, I’m finding a real void has been made by the elimination of trusted journalists,” wrote Rhonda Greenwood. “They have been replaced with ‘mommy bloggers’ or syndicated columnists that I don’t know and don’t care to know (at least not yet).”
Adam pointed out that Deseret Connect has professional editors overseeing the bloggers, and that really tough stories won’t be done by the amateurs.
Despite that, Raymond Winn is not impressed.
“The [Deseret News] shakeup killed that newspaper for me. I don’t even look at their Website anymore; I go to other newspapers that are still doing real reporting. And yet I hope (against hope) that this effort works for them ... because I think SLC still needs at least three newspapers (I am including CW in this count, of course).”