Utah Stories Magazine began as a website eight years ago. At a time when journalists all across the country were being released from their long-standing positions at newspapers big and small, aspiring publisher Richard Markosian was in journalism school at the University of Utah, being told that “local print journalism was dying and would soon be dead.” Undaunted by the rapid decline of the printed word, Markosian conducted an online experiment, offering not sensationalized “if it bleeds it leads” stories picked up by scouring police scanners, but real stories about how entrepreneurs and artists were creating wealth at farmers markets; stories investigating crony capitalism; journalism about timeshare scams and the rise of plasma donations and homelessness during “The Great Recession.”
As this non-traditional formula gained online readership, the few sponsors at the time requested that Utah Stories expand the pamphlet—which was designed to promote the website—to a magazine offering traditional advertising. Utah Stories Magazine was born in June of 2009, and would go on to prove that print is not dead, and that meaningful, authentic local journalism is not dead. Building local communities by reading about locals and supporting local businesses is a spirit that is alive and well!
In our national corporate-driven economy, the divide between the rich and poor is growing. In our local grass-roots economy, artisans, farmers, and makers of all kinds can create their own wealth (and are far less subject to national economic fluctuations). We can reclaim our sovereignty by buying locally, and we can release our small towns from the slavery of commodity-driven markets by supporting local farms and local manufacturing.
If you happen to believe that special interests have far too much control over our political leaders, and that our communities are overrun by national Wall Street corporations, we have a call to action: vote for authentic community support with your hard-earned money by buying local. Help make your dreams come true by supporting the dreams of our local makers. Unlock the potential of Utah’s communities by buying small. Big-box stores packed with goods made in China need not end up in our landfills. Instead, buy consciously, and make your vote count buying from local entrepreneurs and community builders.
It’s thanks to our readers supporting our local advertisers and telling them they “found them in Utah Stories,” that we have been going strong for eight years. Keep up the good work!