Students will also be able to pick the Church News, which will be included with the Deseret News Sunday edition.
Clark Gilbert, the president and CEO of the Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret News Digital, approached BYU-I over three months ago about distributing the papers on campus. President Kim B. Clark and the president’s council accepted the offer to distribute the newspaper weekly.
The move to distribute the Deseret News at BYU-I is part of a strategy to make it one of the top-tier newspapers in America, according to Mike Cannon, Department of Communication chair.
“The goal is two-fold,” Cannon said. “The first is to increase the Deseret News’ national circulation. The second is to get the Sunday news and Church News to students.”
Cannon said the publications would be beneficial to students.
“Most people pay for the publication, and students will have the opportunity to pick it at no cost,” Cannon said.
The university presidency involved the communication department during the process, as their main concern was how the distribution of Deseret News on campus would affect Scroll readership, Cannon said.
“My concern was if this was going to reduce the readership of Scroll and how it might affect student publications and resumes,” said John Thompson, the general manager of I-Comm Student Media.
Thompson decided that the Deseret News will be distributed Thursdays to not coincide too closely with Scroll distribution which will continue every Tuesday, according to Thompson.
Both papers also contain distinctly different focuses, which Cannon said he feels will encourage students to pick both papers each week.
Christopher M. Lee, executive vice president and publisher of Deseret News, said that the newspaper being distributed will not be the local Deseret News, which is published and distributed more for the people of Wasatch Front.
“What people have to understand is that this is not news about Utah. The students won’t be reading stories about Orem, [Utah]. They’ll be reading national stories with national perspectives,” Lee said.
The Sunday edition’s focus differs from that of Scroll, which tends to focus more on local and campus news.
“The Deseret News Sunday edition is a product which is designed around six areas of focus: faith (faith in the community and as it motivates peoples’ actions), family, education, financial responsibility (for individuals, businesses and government), values in media … and care for the poor,” Lee said.
Lee said that the focus and issues of Deseret News are generally under-covered by other news agencies.
“The Deseret News is meant to inform people. This is a newspaper. As students of faith as you would expect to find at BYU-Idaho, there are options they have on campus there, certainly subscriptions to other newspapers are possible, but those papers don’t do the same things that we cover,” Lee said.
Lee said he’s confident that the writers for Deseret News, many of whom have won awards for their writing, will deliver the best quality paper possible. He said that the writers are both excited and honored that the work will soon be featured on the BYU-I campus.
The Church News is not written by Deseret News writers; rather it is written by a separate staff.
Church News deals specifically with news and events related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, both in the U.S. and around the world.