Letter from the editor
What is the point of printing the words on this page? Why should we be killing trees to bring to you a printed magazine? Why should we deforest the environment with diesel trucks, shredding and slaughtering massive forests, grinding them into a pulp to bring you an antiquated product?
I thought it was about time we answered this question. We have competitors in the market who print on thicker, larger, fancier paper than us, who are getting a lot of advertisers because their answer to this question is to print big, fancy photos of food! Food looks glorious in print! Food photos from the hottest new restaurants look amazing! So I was seriously asking myself about a month ago, why don’t we just print a magazine about where to go and what to do? Seriously … imagine it. Lots of pretty food photos, and lots of photos and write ups on where you should go.
I had to really ponder it for a few weeks. Ads might be easier to sell. Advertisers―especially restaurants―might love it. But the question of why any business should exist should be more compelling than “I exist to print photos of food and print ads.” Certainly, we love food. We have the best food writer in Utah working for us. But as Jesus said, “man does not live by bread alone.”
Utah Stories exists for the following reasons:
We believe that truth needs to be found. We want to find the truth about political leaders, cronyism, corruption and investigate and spend money finding the truth, then report it to you in print. But why print?
Six months ago, Pete Ashdown (from Xmission, a web hosting company in Utah) sat down to talk about the dangers of social media and particularly Facebook. Three months ago, Facebook, without any explanation, banned me and Utah Stories from promoting our posts on Instagram and Facebook. They offered no explanation, nor do they have anyone we can speak to about this.
If we rely on social media for the free dissemination and distribution of truth and ideas, that would be the same as relying on the Catholic Church to do the same before the invention of the printing press. Large bureaucratic entities don’t have the best track record for being trusted with free thought and dissemination of ideas. Just Google what Google did to James Damore for writing a memo. And how the Catholic Church tricked millions of people into literally paying for their sins.
Social media is proving to be a major cause of depression and suicide among young people, and we are coming to realize that our reliance and the time we spend on the medium leads to a phony sense of friendship and reality. Tangible printed products have been used since the founding of this country to spread ideas and print truth and promote liberty. It is for this reason that Utah Stories exists in print.
While newspapers exist mostly to tell you the “what” that comprises the news, we believe in asking “How?” and “Why?” things are the way they are. We believe the how and why are important to navigate and understand Utah, and to expose corrupt powers that undermine capitalism and give a leg up to big corporations and political leaders. And believe me, there is plenty of stinky cronyism going on in Utah that needs to be exposed. (See last month’s story by Eric Peterson entitled Cash Canyon. Prior to that we have written about the Inland Port (that nobody wants); The lack of measures to stop industrial pollution; the terrible job the State Legislature has done with medical cannabis legislation; affordable housing; preservation of wilderness; the list goes on and on.) Our politicians work more for their special interests than they work for us. And unless there are effective reporters digging into political deals and following the money, we would never otherwise learn about the ways they undermine our democracy and freedom.
Finally, Utah Stories is printed on paper which does require the killing of trees. But trees that are planted in farms to become paper, and trees (unlike plastic) are a completely renewable resource. Our magazine is also vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and printed using soy ink. I think if you had to eat it, it would likely be a nutritious meal, very low in calories but high in fiber.*
*Please consult your doctor before eating our magazine.