When other students in his grade school were playing sports or hanging on themonkey bars, R. Scott Lloyd was trying to start a school newspaper.
"I remember going around gathering news at school and then writing out the newspaper longhand in a notebook with carbon paper under the pages," Lloyd said. "I knew early what I was going to do."Lloyd became a columnist for his high school newspaper and later worked for Brigham Young University's student newspaper, The Daily Universe. His first job after graduation was with the Price Sun Advocate. He later covered courts and city government for the Ogden Standard-Examiner. Since 1985, he has worked as staff writer for the LDS Church News section of the Deseret News.
"Writing and communications are what I do best," he said. "I can't think of any other skills I could parlay into making a living."
Those attending Jordan High School in 1971 and 1972 may best remember Lloyd for his light commentary and sometimes satirical "Scott's Spot" column in the Jordan High Broadcaster.
"We used an ink blot for the logo," he recalled. Using satire, Lloyd often poked fun at the authoritative high school administration. He has felt that journalism has an obligation to inform society. In a democracy, he said, people need to have information to make the decisions on whom to vote for or what product to buy. The mass media plays a critical role in helping people make those decisions, he said.
His decision to ply his skills for the Church News was influenced by a story he covered at the Price Sun Advocate. A student pilot, Sherleen Jaussi, had crashed her plane on a solo flight just outside of Grand Junction, Colo. After three days of searching, local authorities considered calling off the effort. The priesthood quorums at Jaussi's LDS ward organized a search party and found her alive. After writing the story for the Sun Advocate, Lloyd offered it to the Church News.
The Church News ran the story with photos on two facing pages.
"I was so excited to have my story published in the Church News," he recalled. "We had always taken the Deseret News, so the Church News was a staple in our household. We used it a lot for talks and lessons."
Working at the Church News may not be the type of journalism he set out to do, he admits, but it fits into his feelings that journalism can be a noble thing.
"Our mission is to serve readers who want to feel good about membership in the (LDS) Church," he said. "I get a real sense of fulfillment out of providing information and features that tend to promote the church."