As readers anticipate newspaper endorsements for this presidential year, you can probably bet The Salt Lake Tribune won't be favoring Donald Trump. But it likely won't matter. Presidential endorsements have been around for a century, and according to Nate Silver, the winner of most editorial approvals has lost only three times since 1972. But times have changed, and Brigham Young University journalism professor Joel Campbell states in his recently published research, "In the era of social media, the endorsement of those within one's circle of friends is likely to carry much more weight than that of a news organization." In other words, voters are listening mostly to people they agree with. Campbell, not a fan of endorsements, worries mostly about the ethics. Voters distrust the media already, and endorsements simply feed into that.
More Booze Missteps
There's plenty of research on underage drinking and how alcohol affects the adolescent brain, but nothing on how watching someone mix a drink translates into alcoholic behavior. That makes no difference to the Utah Legislature, which is now responsible for the idiotic and costly construction of a "Zion Ceiling" at the new Eccles Theater downtown. Fox 13 noted the noncompliance not long after it ran a story on the Hive Winery's Zion Curtain—a piece of tapestry with the words "Utah Doing as Bishop Commands" rather than Utah Department of Beverage Control. Hive and other wineries have to put a surcharge on tastings, too, although DABC conducted its own tasting recently to better educate its staff, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Alcohol just sends shivers up the spines of legislators, perhaps because they have never been educated about it themselves.
It's not like Salt Lake City isn't aware of the poverty on its front porch. Far from it, actually. The city council is "unanimous" in wanting to disperse the criminal element near the Rio Grande, according to their op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune. They are shocked and appalled by the lack of affordable rentals in the city, and everyone's anxious about the many kids in intergenerational poverty. The Deseret News notes that there are almost no vacancies and that the average cost of renting keeps climbing. It's one thing to build—and there's plenty of that going on—but it's another to build affordable housing. Where and how to do that is going to be the city's biggest challenge over the next year.