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Headline Hogs

Is the church more newsworthy than government? Problems in San Juan County and a look at homelessness.

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Headline Hogs
Of course, we realize that the Deseret News is all about faith-based journalism. But aren't some things maybe a little too insider for public consumption? A front-page story about getting your mission call via email? Really? Yeah, a lot of non-Mormons are interested in what goes on with "The Church," but not so much its internal communications strategy. We get the D-News doing movie reviews on God Bless the Broken Road, and running a President Russell M. Nelson by-the-numbers piece in the LDS Church News, but those are stories that reach a larger audience. Then again, it's not all about the D-News. The Salt Lake Tribune has become of shadow of its former self while maintaining robust coverage of the church. Letters to the editor complain about the coverage, and last Sunday, an entire opinion page was devoted to three writers upset and trying to communicate with their church. A certain religion has become more newsworthy than government in Utah.

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Blinded by the White
Surely everyone in Utah knows the problems in San Juan County. It started with political boundaries drawn to disenfranchise Native Americans. It narrowed into an attempt to remove candidate Willie Grayeyes from the ballot. And now, the Navajo Nation claims that one-fourth of its voters have been placed in the wrong districts. On a broader scale, Utahns want a fairer way to redistrict and will vote on an initiative in November. Still, it's clear that the San Juan elite are doing everything possible to retain their Caucasian power base. Sure, the judge acknowledged that they're giving it the old college try, but Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox needs to step in now. The Salt Lake Tribune says it's not an assumption that the county has failed. The Tribune is wrong.

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From Their Eyes
It's no Ben McAdams undercover job, but The Salt Lake Tribune did have a great idea in showing homelessness from the eyes of six homeless people. The Trib gave them each a camera and asked them to document a few days of their lives. Seeing homelessness from an insider perspective is stunning. The Trib's inside presentation in print, though, was a bit hard to follow, mainly because of the huge headline over a continuation of the story. Each one of the photos was a story in itself, if only a window into how the homeless think and process their circumstances. One man took a picture of a bridge and mused about a new day and what he would do. You have to think: probably nothing. There might be no better way to solve homelessness.

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