Sometimes our best-intentioned efforts to be pithy and clever go awry. In an attempt to give a shorthand expression to a very well-thought-out mission statement, I have erroneously led some of you to believe that the Deseret News is somehow retreating from our dedication to credible, hard-hitting, objective journalism. This is simply not the case.
The Deseret News has a long and distinguished history of journalistic excellence. We are completely dedicated to continuing that tradition.
Over the years we have received numerous awards. In 2006 and 2007, the Deseret News received the General Excellence Award, the top honor for newspapers in our Associated Press region. In 2007, the AP judges declared that the Deseret News gives its readers a well-packaged and multilayered reflection of life in northern Utah. We've never been to Salt Lake City ... but we think we got a good feel for the place by reading the Deseret News. We will continue to do all in our power to meet that standard.
So, where did more local, more online, more Mormon come from? As we look to the future, we are wrestling with how to compete in a world that is increasingly online. To that end, we empowered a team of editors to focus on our future. This team is made up of some of our best journalists. Part of their charge was to develop a strategic mission statement to help us define our future. The whole statement reads: To be the best 24-hour source of news and information via words and multimedia, in print and online for and about our local news audience and for and about our worldwide LDS audience.
In a clumsy effort to synthesize that statement to a shorter and, unfortunately in this case, more memorable bumper sticker, I came up with the phrase that included more Mormon.
While most of our print readers are Latter-day Saints, the more Mormon phrase was aimed at reaching the much broader LDS online audience. As most observers know, success online means homing in with laserlike focus on a specific audience. We are fortunate to have millions of potential online readers, nationally and internationally, who are LDS and have a great interest in Utah and news about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
As I noted to readers when we rolled out our new Mormon Times section, our readers, both in print and online, have told us they want more news and information about the LDS Church and its members. Our readers also have strongly reaffirmed their interest in a full-service daily newspaper that reports the local, national and international news in an unfiltered, accurate and unbiased manner. We will continue to do that, hopefully building on our successes of the past.
When the Deseret News building was dedicated in 1997, LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley charged the paper: Constant improvement must be the Deseret News' goal for the future. Truth without favor must be its watchword. (The paper must have) able reporting and editing, fearless editorial advocacy ... a voice strong and bold and clear.
So, I apologize to our readers for the unfortunate choice of words. Our commitment is as it ever was.