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In our opinion: Explaining editorial elements

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  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Aug. 19, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    "The Deseret News editorial page strives to be a dignified moral voice to people of faith and conscience throughout the world. Through careful analysis and thoughtful commentary, it seeks to dispel ignorance, enabling readers to make a positive difference in their families and communities"
    -- Then why continually publish half-truths, distortions, and unkind comments about the President of the USA?

    "Although neutral on matters of partisan politics"
    -- Others have shot down this hilarious delusion.

    "While the editorial page is a place for its own opinion and perspective, the Deseret News regularly shares thoughtful insight from individuals who augment our effort to be a dignified moral voice to people of conscience throughout the world."
    -- But 90% seem to be in support of the DN's political position

    -- As for the Comments Policy: usually, if I write something slightly critical of mormons or the lds church, it gets rejected for all caps, or not to the point, etc.

    Foolish me, I expect an outlet of a great church to be more scrupulous about the truth, and about how Jesus would handle whatever situation is being brought up.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 19, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    2 BIts... please then detail where the money came from?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil,

    No tithing money goes to the Des News I can assure you...

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 19, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    My guess is the primary reason the Church claims "political neutrality" is to protect its tax exempt status. The next biggest reason is the Fox News model of pandering to a particular audience. Otherwise it would make more sense to include a broader range of opinions and articles.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 19, 2014 7:02 a.m.

    "Sounds like a excuse to me. Paper ownership doesn't prevent anybody from participating in church!!... Only YOU can keep you from participating in church!"

    I would totally agree with your last point 2 Bits.... but I also have to agree with Truthseeker that members should have every right to be concerned with how tithing money is being invested, or how the church makes its money. You can't separate ownership with responsibility for what that entity does. I am sure the church tries very hard to ensure its investments are consistent with its standards... but there are times when statements here seem inconsistent with that stewardship, or messages we hear from the pulpit at conference.

    Like it or not, how the church spends its money speaks very loudly on what it stands for. As being 100 percent church owned, the Deseret News is a very visible beacon of what its owners values are.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    @Truthseeker

    Re "my biggest gripe with the Deseret News is that it is owned by the Church"... "which makes it more difficult to participate in Church"...

    Sounds like a excuse to me. Paper ownership doesn't prevent anybody from participating in church!!... Only YOU can keep you from participating in church! This is just an excuse.

    I would not blame the Tribune for MY choices... Take responsibility for your own decisions.

    =============

    You should not call people names in your posts (they should get rejected regardless of the point-of-view that goes along with the name calling).

    Don't complain that people with Conservative point of view can call people names... just clean up your own.. and report the other ones. If the moderator missed it and agrees... they will remove it. If you're just being overly sensitive... they won't.

    I'm pretty sure they will post things with a non-flaming-right-wing point-of-view... I see several of them every day.

    My suggestion... avoid name calling... even if OTHER people get away with it. That's what I do.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 18, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    Final Post

    As an LDS member, my biggest gripe with the Deseret News is that it is owned by the Church, presents nearly exclusively a right-winged point of view in the selection of articles and editorial page, serving as a defacto endorsement by the Church for right-winged/conservative politics. Maybe that is the intent, which makes it more difficult to participate in Church.

    As for not endorsing political candidates, of course it does--Mitt Romney for instance--on a daily basis. I don't have a problem with the editorial page of newspapers endorsing a particular candidate if they continue to cover other candidates and if they admit they do. But it is confusing at best to claim political neutrality but own a newspaper which presents only one side of the political spectrum.

    @Lagamorph
    My goal was always to engage in a civil, reasoned dialogue, but noticed as you did, that often my comments would get denied while comments from a conservative point of view, containing name-calling, somehow passed the moderators.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    @FT

    Re "Although neutral on matters of partisan politics. Seriously? That's about as humorous as MSNBC making a similar statement"....

    So... you acknowledge MSNBC and others are totally biased... that's new!

    Do you write to MSNBC complaining about THEIR bias as often as you do the DMN?? Or is one bias OK, while the other must be denounced?

    I acknowledge that FOX is totally biased. That's why I don't watch it (unless I'm at my in-laws who watch it non-stop). I've seen a few "No Spin Zone" episodes, and it looks pretty fair, but the rest is totally biased. I haven't seen ANYTHING on MSNBC that isn't biased (yet). Beck also totally biased... but more interesting than nonstop traffic/weather/fluff.

    The Tribune is also not a totally unbiased paper you know... IMO they are more bias than DMN (but that's totally subjective).

    As for accusations DMN reject comments if they aren't "flaming-right-wing"... I seriously doubt it. There's usually a valid reason (outlined in the rules) when you get rejected.

    If 50% of your posts getting rejected... there's obviously a problem (with your posts).

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    "Although neutral on matters of partisan politics". Seriously? That's about as humorous as MSNBC making a similar statement.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    Could the paper clarify: Are the "What Others Say" editorials chosen because they reflect and reinforce the DesNews editorial position or because they offer an opposing counterpoint?

    On online comment moderation, I'm generally content with the DesNews policies. Unmoderated forums can get lost to the trolls, haters, and endless "me, too" comments (try reading The Blaze comments sometime). I'd like to see the comment and word limits raised a bit (though they do force conciseness) and html tags allowed (italics and block quotes, anyone?). There could be stronger enforcement of the obvious sockpuppets used to evade the four comment limit. The submission software frequently rejects my comments for excessive length when the counter says I still have words left. That's especially frustrating after taking the time to compose a thoughtful response.

    I feel like I have a pretty good sense of the allowable limits of taste here, but like other commenters on this thread I am occasionally baffled as to why some of my comments (maybe 3-5%) get rejected when cattier or stupider comments are allowed. Certain kinds of snark are apparently not appreciated (or understood?). Some consistency in application of moderation standards would be useful.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    They're non-partisan in the sense that they don't endorse candidates; I don't believe the statement is meant to suggest that there's no conservative lean in their overall sum of editorial work.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    And yet, LDS Liberal, the vast majority of comments anymore that are published have a flaming left wing point of view. They routinely reject my comments; certainly if they were only "Right Wingers" then my posts would come through a lot more than they do. I see your posts get approved all the time.

    I don't even think of myself as particularly right wing, either. So cry "Right wing bias!" all you want, but if anything the moderators lean leftward.

    Well, maybe not as left as the Tribune or the NYT, but then, those publications are left of Stalin, so no wonder.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 18, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    @LiberalLarry
    "a forum that allows us to express ourselves as long as we play by their rules of engagement."

    I could provide numerous examples of comments I wrote which were denied for no apparent reason. They adhered to stated guidelines. Sometimes, a comment would be denied one day (with notification it was denied) but then, the next day when i tried to re-post it would be acceptable. It became so frequent, I finally gave up. I wondered if a particular moderator(s) just had a particular dislike for me.

    I could go on, to no avail. My comment won't get posted and it won't change DN practices.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    If 50% of your posts get denied... you need to think about what you are posting. There's usually a GOOD reason they get denied. I actually think the editorial department does a great job (even though they reject some of my posts).

    If 50% of what I posted violated the rules... I'd start looking at myself (not the people at the DMN).

    ========

    You are a flaming right-winger,
    and since your opinions agree with theirs,
    so naturaly yours [or MR, RedS, J Thomp, et al,] will rearley ever be "denied".

    I simply ask that IF the published criteria IS the critera,
    then it be should be applied with integrity.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 18, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Hey, its a little upsetting when my pearls of wisdom are denied by the moderators, but have you ever posted on a website that doesn't moderate? In my limited experience the site is soon over run with trolls who make it their goal to irritate everyone they can for no apparent reason.

    The moderators are doing the best they can to maintain civility, and although I rarely agree with their editorials, the DNews has created a forum that allows us to express ourselves as long as we play by their rules of engagement.

    Sounds fair to me.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    Has anybody else noticed that it seems mainly one side is getting angry about this?

    And they claim the "Right" are the angry/bitter types... Seems like some self-reflection is needed today.

    ==============

    @LDS Liberal,

    I've had comments rejected (rare, but a few times)... Every time there's been a good reason.

    If 50% of your posts get denied... you need to think about what you are posting. There's usually a GOOD reason they get denied. I actually think the editorial department does a great job (even though they reject some of my posts).

    If 50% of what I posted violated the rules... I'd start looking at myself (not the people at the DMN).

    The 1st step to any problem is to stop the denialism, and acknowledge there IS a problem"...

    ===========

    People can say most articles support Capitalism, or Republicans, etc. but it's mostly because we are subjective and see what offends us (if we WANT to be offended). My wife thinks DMN covers BYU and ignores the Utes.... I think we see what we EXPECT to see, and ignore the rest.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    DesNews: "Although neutral on matters of partisan politics, it boldly advocates for the free exercise of religion as an essential liberty..."

    Is this paper an advocate for free exercise? Certainly. But bold? Hardly. The statement would be credible if this paper allocated even 10% of the column inches it has devoted to Hobby Lobby editorializing to defending the North Carolina clergy who are facing imprisonment for merely performing the sacred rituals their religion allows in accordance with the dictates of their consciences. Bold advocacy of religious liberty means supporting the rights of everyone to freely exercise their religion, even those whose faiths you may have doctrinal differences with. This paper takes a very selective view of religious liberty aligned with a narrow political stance and by doing so demonstrates that it is clearly not "neutral on matters of partisan politics."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Agreed with many other comments --

    The DN publishes an entire "list" of criteria to which
    comments are supposed to be met and measured.
    - yet -
    50% of my comments are routinely "denied" for absolutely NO appearant reason,
    based on that published criteria.

    All I can figure is a pointed, biased on
    a seperate, UN-published set of criteria.

    I have e-mailed examples and asked DN staff -- as to "why",
    and never been given a valid reason.

    Hidden agenda,
    censorship,
    or yellow journalism is all I have to go by...

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Re:Jack
    "Societies that try that way never succeed, because you always run out of other peoples money."
    When capitalism becomes crony capitalism--where the system is rigged so that all the profits accumulate for a few at the top, societies fail.
    Furthermore the U.S. Ranks pretty high on the level of inequality when compared to other industrialized countries. Northern European countries are doing just fine.

    "The problem is that people don't know how to allocate their money or wealth, so they don't accumulate it. "
    It is a problem for people when they have to choose between eating or car repairs, education or paying rent. Research studies have shown that just being poor impairs cognitive skills.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    @liberal larry

    "by only gently moderating comments"

    I have to laugh, the moderating of the comments on deseret news is completely inconsistent. I have have followed every single rule and still had my comments denied or put into the magical hold status where they never get released.
    I have to wonder why the deseret news is so scared of the truth, it allows one side of the story and thats it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    The Deseret News editorial board?

    Care for the poor?...
    Non-partisan?...

    HaHaHa -- yo can't possibly be serious?!

    BTW -- the 1st step to any problem is to stop the denialism,
    and acknowledge there IS a problem.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Aug. 18, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    " Personal attacks against Deseret News personnel — including comment moderators — will not be tolerated."

    What exactly does this mean?

    I used to be a regular reader of DN, but am no more, for a variety of reasons. But one reason is the heavy-handed comment moderation. My goal was to adhere to stated guidelines, but weekly i had comments rejected, for no apparent reason. Finally, it became just too frstrating and appeared to be just blatant censorship. I'm guessing this comment won't be posted either.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 18, 2014 6:02 a.m.

    Hey Phil Allred -

    "This means there is more wealth for PRIVATE individuals to distribute."

    You are speaking of trickle-down-economics, low taxes for high earners, that was supposed to create jobs.

    Where are the jobs?

    Trickle-down economics/Reaganomics/Supply Side economics obviously does not work.

    The alleged eagerness of private individuals to distribute wealth is a completely unsupportable, half-baked "Conservative" notion.

    It has no counterpart in the real world.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 18, 2014 5:53 a.m.

    Hey Owen -

    "Not allowing anonymity could make the Deseret News' comment feature better reflect the paper's and its owner's proclaimed commitment to civil dialogue."

    But there's a huge trade-off to that.

    If a person cannot post anonymously, then he or she cannot speak freely of the powers that be.

    That is the reason that so many our our founders used pseudonyms when publicly criticizing the British government prior to the Revolutionary war.

    And now the powers that be are quite wide ranging.

    The dedicated "patriots" and Cliven Bundy supporters who murdered those cops in Las Vegas and then draped their bodies with a Swastika banner and a Tea Party flag represent a growing malevolent power in this nation that must be challenged.

    And yes they are a power that is. They obviously have the power to commit murder.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 11:35 p.m.

    Not sure how I got cut; must have exceeded 200 words again. I appreciate the DN explaining more or less where they're coming from on the editorial page. I did post, expanding on how this stance manifests itself. It's too bad you all didn't get to see it.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Aug. 17, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    The Educator's comment was off-base and erred by generalization. I see the point of the editorial page differently, it is not to validate facts presented in the news section, it is an independent opinion written to appeal to the readers of the paper. That's important because the comment section is the only counterpoint that some DN readers are ever likely to see. I often comment on same-sex marriage issues because I am same-sex married, I live in Colorado (also 10th circuit), and I also have married same-sex friends in SLC. Will I change anyone's mind? Not likely, but my comments may help open a necessary dialogue. Also, if my comments were not semi-autonomous, I could not comment because my views would potentially represent those of my employer. My words need to stand on their own merit.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 17, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    Deseret News is non-partisan... who knew. Or is that they are non-partisan when it comes to conservatives versus tea-party... that would make a whole lot more sense.

    I mean, look at the coverage of ACA. I get that the DN Staff doesn't approve of the act, and that is fair when it is an issue based objection. But if it were truly based solely on the "issue", the paper would hold the conservatives as equally responsible for lack of providing a solution that would work, that most Americans can get behind. But alas, the critic only extends to one side, moving the discussion from issue based to party support.

    DeseretNews non-partisan... about as much as FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh are. I don't think so.... but thanks for trying.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 17, 2014 8:22 p.m.

    @Liberal Larry:
    "With several notable exceptions, Deseret News editorials typically take hard Right political views, "
    Could you mention any of those rather than being vague. I consider the Deseret News to be a liberal voice in Utah. They support education, families and traditional marriage which are powerful forces to fight poverty. They condemn gambling and pornography. Again these are liberal positions. They are promoting religious freedom which is THE human rights issue for our time.

    I disagree with their stand on their support for Israel, but it isn't blind support.

    They are liberal, without being dogmatic.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Aug. 17, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    I would like to offer my opinion on the matter of "wealth distribution." First, it isn't distributed by some single source; wealth is created, it is acquired, it is earned. There isn't some person or committee somewhere that decides who gets what in our economy. The problem is that people don't know how to allocate their money or wealth, so they don't accumulate it. They overspend on convenience items, they make poor decisions with credit so they pay higher interest, they don't understand how it works. You cannot become rich punching a timeclock, you must save and invest to increase your wealth. If you view money as only to be spent, you don't get it. If you think someone else having it means you won't get any, you don't get it. If you think taking it from someone else to give to you is the way to "even things out" you don't get it. Societies that try that way never succeed, because you always run out of other peoples money.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    The governing philosophy of the Deseret News emphasizes personal responsibility. I have no problem with that. People need to act as if everything depends on their own discipline and initiative.

    But the system they live in is of consequence. The current recession was triggered by the housing bubble on whose subprime mortgages a fantastic array of financial instruments were built and are being built many of which are of questionable value. When the housing bubble popped the world was caught holding securities worth at most 10 cents on the dollar.

    The Deseret News has not once, to my knowledge, questioned the ethics of the banking industry or the system of which they are the center piece. This demonstrates ideological bias of an extreme kind.

    BTW, one third of American households are in collections. Does your term "underprivileged" include them?

  • Phil Allred New Rochelle, NY
    Aug. 17, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    @marxist,

    I don't believe your statement is correct. The Deseret News, like its readers, want shifts in the distribution of wealth. They just don't believe it is best done by the force of government. And I bet they would disagree about capitalism as well. Capitalism does better than any other economic model at efficiently distributing goods in a society. Yes, it has its weaknesses, but compared to socialism, it does a far better job. This means there is more wealth for PRIVATE individuals to distribute. When private citizens, in the form of churches and non-profit organizations do it. It carries FAR more meaning to the receiver.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    I have enjoyed reading and participating, through moderated comments, the editorial pages of the Deseret News. I liken the moderated comments and the debate that ensues to the days of John Adams when men would meet in taverns to discuss and debate topics of concern and interest.

    Thank you, Deseret News, for providing an excellent forum.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 17, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    My position on anonymity should be obvious from my screen name. I live in a community where there are only so many members of the church and I prefer not conflating my political points with my church life.

  • Mark l SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 12:50 p.m.

    Anyone concerned about helping the poor need to realize that "handouts" don't help the poor in the long run. Teaching someone how to take care of themselves would be the better way.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 17, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    I read news publications from around the world, but I prefer Deseret News above them all because of the online reader comments. When I submit a comment, I am genuinely interested in hearing the alternative views they spark, and occasionally these comments change my point of view. That makes it a great learning experience, which is why I read the news in the first place.

    That is also why I enjoy the anonymity that this publication inspires. It would be embarrassing if everything I wrote could come back to publicly display my ignorance.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    At some point in the near future you will have to change your statement of advocacy as follows: "Although neutral on matters of partisan politics, ...it boldly advocates for the protection of the environment as a fit place for human habitation."

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 17, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    I agree with Owen in principle, but not in practice.

    Some of us have positions in business, or government, where our personal opinions are not part of the job. Strongly stating our religious, or political preferences, could be a huge detriment to our careers, or more importantly, to the livelihoods of members of our families.

    Requiring full names for the comment section would cut out a huge swath of us who are vested in the community, and who would simply cease reading, and commenting, if our names where required.

    The Deseret News is doing a huge service to the community by reasonably moderating, and allowing anonymity on its comment section.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    Liberal Larry.
    I agreed with your comment until the line. "only gently moderating."
    How would you know the scope of moderating? I know from personal experience that, too often, the moderators deny comments which adhere to stated their guidelines. I once had a comment denied because, according to the moderator, i had overused "all caps" when in fact i only used caps twice in referring to California as CA.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    @Owen
    "Not allowing anonymity could make the Deseret News' comment feature better reflect the paper's and its owner's proclaimed commitment to civil dialogue. A registration process that requires contributors to own their comments, as in your Reader's Forum"

    Honestly, I think that it risks other problems that discourage discussion. Like an LDS member that disagrees with something church/BYU related might want to have the discussion but not want to be known. A business owner who disagrees with minimum wage increases might not want any negativity to come about (I've seen some posts that were of the vein of "what business do you own so I know what to never visit").

    I think they do a good job. Sometimes I'm confused as to why a comment of mine didn't make it through but hey if that's the price to pay for the good system they have, I'm fine with it.

  • The Educator South Jordan , UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Please don't take my criticism and deny this comment. Take it as constructive criticism.

    The dnews rarely "analyzes" anything. They simply copy and paste articles, many which are outdated or discredited by peer review, from Heritage and the Cato Institute. The editorial page is a hodgepodge of cut and pasted articles, often, they contradict each other, in an effort to support their right wing agenda.

    I remember a few weeks ago an "analysis" offered by the dnews which attacked democrats and stated that democrats were discouraging people from having children. That somehow smaller families was a bad thing and the state could support unlimited growth. This was on their editorial page (copied from Heritage).

    Then, literally a day later, in another section of the paper, there were scientists sending out warnings about the lack of water in the state. A day later, a report on our worst in nation air quality. A day later, a landslide in north salt lake which destroyed a home.

    So after all of this, I felt like the "analysis" offered in the editorial section was debunked by the Dnews's own reporting in other sections. We cannot support unlimited growth in this state.

  • RC in WJ WEST JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Thank you for the "Explaining Editorial Elements" article! It answered several question I have had, but the statement "Although neutral on matters of partisan politics" was a little more than even the most gullible could swallow!

    Thanks again for the inside look on your Editorial publishing policy!

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Aug. 17, 2014 7:58 a.m.

    With several notable exceptions, Deseret News editorials typically take hard Right political views, and many times they show an real lack of research on the part of the writer. Many of them seem to be inspired by a single article, or study, that takes a view that affirms the Deseret News conservative world view.

    That being said, the DNews has taken a courageous stance by only gently moderating comments that disagree with their editorials.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 4:12 a.m.

    It seems like something's missing. Although not exclusive to the editorial section, the reader comments in the online edition are an important part of the editorial dialogue - else why the focus on "most commented?" Voices from across the nation weigh in on nearly every issue. The problem is they are anonymous voices.

    Not allowing anonymity could make the Deseret News' comment feature better reflect the paper's and its owner's proclaimed commitment to civil dialogue. A registration process that requires contributors to own their comments, as in your Reader's Forum, would make life easier for your moderators, raise the level of the dialogue, and make the Deseret News as unique as it claims to be in today's divisive media.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 17, 2014 1:25 a.m.

    This makes me scratch my head: "...and care for the underprivileged in their honorable self-betterment as a duty for all individuals."

    The Deseret News editorially doesn't care about shifts in distributions of wealth and income favoring the wealthy. These shifts are stressing all those who are not wealthy. You seem to imply: "the capitalist system knows best, and that system is not to be questioned - ever." Do I state this correctly?