Deseret News introduces Editorial Advisory Board

Update: Jeremy over at Good As You has now filed his report on this news: Out and proud NOMmers eat away your rights, save room for ‘Deseret’

Rather than reading my random thoughts below, I’d suggest clicking over and reading Jeremy’s post.

For an LDS perspective, I’d suggest checking out this insider’s view of the new board:

The Editorial Advisory Board looks to me like the starting lineup of a Mormon Huffington Post. I have no idea if this will broaden the appeal of the paper outside of the Wasatch Front. Instead of producing news it looks like it is aimed at producing influence.

“… a Mormon Huffington Post.” That sounds about right.

I’ll clean the rest of this up later, cheers.

The new Deseret News board includes Robert P. George (chairman of the board of the National Organization for Marriage) and Matthew S. Holland (former NOM board member).

Maggie Gallagher, (former) NOM president:

“… there is no connection between NOM and the church except that a Mormon serves on NOM’s board.”

Nothing to see here.

Salt Lake Tribune: D-News assembles “thought leaders”
PRIDE In Utah: NOM Leader Named To DesNews Advisory Board

By the way, speaking of LDS media, I just noticed that Meridian Magazine got a facelift. Perhaps a preview of where DesNews is headed? From that SLTrib article linked to above:

The interesting thing to note here is that only four of the 13 [“thought leaders”] live in Utah, which solidifies the speculation that the Deseret News is slowly moving from being a Utah newspaper to a national LDS-centric paper/web entity.

Check out this June report over at Good As You for some background on these new board members and their ties to the Mormon leadership.

Chino Blanco

--- We are men of action, lies do not become us. ---

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18 Responses

  1. Craig says:

    The church is really cracking down.

    But as we all know, the more you tighten your grip, the more star systemspeople will slip through your fingers.

  2. Chino Blanco says:

    They’re trying, but my guess is that it’s their turn to crack. As in ‘split in two’.

    Somebody recently asked what the church would be like in 100 years? My prediction:

    Any time you drain a swamp, the mud gets thicker, stinkier and more toxic before it eventually dries up. I predict public fights over church assets will start to break out among the leadership within the next 25 years. One faction will wind up owning LDS intellectual property (copyrights, trademarks, websites, etc.), with a different faction left owning LDS real estate. When that happens, the name on the chapels will change to reflect the new ownership, and the old LDS brand will become completely virtual. Families will be torn apart as members decide to either:

    A) unplug and join the new off-the-grid Chapel Mormon movement

    B) install Internet Mormonism v6.0

  3. James says:

    Chino Blanco, are you just another anti-mormon troll that’s trying to destroy the church? The LDS church is going nowhere.

  4. Chino Blanco says:

    James, I totally agree with your second sentence.

  5. Craig says:

    And it’s going there fast.

  6. Chino Blanco says:

    All kidding aside, I’m sure the boys at the COB have got a plan that’ll get growth back on track … just a sec while I check … ah, found it:

    Church leaders put together a task force made up of industry professionals from the advertising, media, entertainment, public relations and research fields to answer the singular question, What message does the Church want to send?

    See? The pros are on the job. Never mind that that plan was hatched in 2004 and six years later, the Church appears less sure about the answer to that “singular” question than ever before, not to mention less capable of delivering a message even if they had one.

    No, never mind that it’s 2010 and LDS PR flacks are sending out press releases announcing that “(The Internet) is where we’ve got to be.”

    This Internet?

    Sometimes the best advice is to do nothing. But COB salaries have to be justified by something, and so you get LDS PR flacks like Scott Swofford saying anything to keep the dream alive for the boys upstairs signing the checks.

  7. Craig says:

    The only people being convinced by the church’s new PR campaign is Mormons. They’re being convinced of the thing they love to believe the most – that they’re awesome and everyone loves them.

  8. Molly says:

    I think probably the biggest stumbling block to the ads being taken seriously is the level of postmodern cynicism that gets applied to all forms of marketing these days. Squeaky-clean 1950’s-style “everything is swell” advertising only works if it’s being ironically sinister. I don’t know if the Cobbers understand that. Ads like this could have a galvanising effect, but only if they were accompanied by an overall push from the church and its members to transform themselves into an inclusive, progressive organisation. Without that, the ads seem very hollow and have been easy for most people to treat as insincere.

  9. Craig says:

    I completely agree. What the church doesn’t seem to get is that hypocrisy doesn’t sell when people know you’re being hypocritical – and American knows the Mormon church is hypocritical. Prop 8 made that obvious.

  10. Hellmut says:

    The biggest problem with the ads is that they are immediately contradicted the moment you put a foot in the chapel. After the conversion honeymoon ends, people realize that the meetings are dreadfully boring.

    Now if that skateboarder performed during sacrament meeting, that might be another matter.

  11. Hellmut says:

    Of course, every leader associated with our discrimination campaigns will have to get rewarded. It’s called blessings.

  12. profxm says:

    RE #10 – I’ll go back when skateboarders are allowed to perform in the chapel! I love me some ‘E’X-Games!

  13. Chino Blanco says:

    Pulpits at an Exhibition: The power of the podium in Mormon consciousness creeps me right out …

    A first glimpse of the exciting new content available at the revamped Deseret News

    This’ll get your pulse racing:

    Taking a ‘stand’: Exhibit features noted LDS pulpits

    They stand front and center at nearly all LDS Church conference sessions and worship services so much so that it doesn’t seem like a Mormon meeting without them. Yet, they seldom call attention to themselves. Like the saying goes, they tend to blend into the woodwork. And despite their presence, many struggle with their names.

    Oh, we’re talking pulpits here, not people. Perhaps you call it a “podium.” Possibly a “lectern” or “rostrum.” Or maybe simply “the stand.”

    Whatever the name, there are a handful of prominent pulpits historic originals and feel-free-to-touch replicas on display this weekend in downtown Salt Lake City as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints conducts its 180th semiannual general conference.

    Of course, they forgot my favorite name for these stands: “rameumptom

    Be sure to click through and look at the actual article in context.

    Think about the fact that they’re running a story about lecterns and displaying a photo of Thomas S. Monson posing behind one. And then think about how Monson has been such a PR disaster for the LDS church that its flacks are now crafting stories that draw readers’ attention away from the Prophet and redirect it to his podium.

    You know, I thought a random John described the makeup and intent of the new DesNews board to a tee, and I agreed they looked to be positioning to put a “Mormon HuffPo” model in place, but I can’t imagine even TBMs being able to read articles like the one above without thinking Just.Shoot.Me.Now.

  14. wry says:

    “Be it a pulpit, a stand or whatever name you like, the object serves myriad purposes in the LDS Church providing a focal point above the people, enhancing acoustics, allowing for eye contact, emphasizing a fixture of authority in an authority-based church and acting as a location for leaders to receive and convey revelation.”

    Oh. Holy. Jesus.


    And also another point of evidence in why I still, as a full-fledged adult, have serious “authority” issues.

    I ask you.

  15. Chino Blanco says:

    Why didn’t you tell us you were going to be in town, Wry?

  16. wry says:

    Oh please. I could never pull off a hot outfit like that one.

  17. Alan says:

    I didn’t know people receive revelation while at the podium. O_O

  18. kuri says:

    I love a woman in a uniform…. But that sign confuses me. Were people standing in front of the podium? Didn’t that make it hard not to fall off the stage?

    Alan, Lorenzo Snow was standing right behind a podium when he had a revelation that it would rain if people started giving him the church God their money. I know it’s true because I saw it in a movie. Everyone in the movie was like, “Oh my gosh, the Prophet is having a stroke right there behind the podium!” but luckily it was only a revelation.

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