Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reader-Written Supplement a Success in Utah

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Reader-Written Supplement a Success in Utah

Article excerpt

Joint-operating agency for the Salt Lake City papers publishing section aimed at reader involvement and target ad marketing

IN UTAH'S SOUTHERN Davis and Salt Lake counties, a special newspaper supplement, Citizens, is allowing readers to speak out during a time many feel they no longer have a voice.

Citizens is printed by the Newspaper Agency Corporation, which under a joint operating agreement, publishes the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. The supplement is inserted in the News' Tuesday evening run, and the Wednesday morning Tribune run.

The material is put together by a separate staff under the agency's direction -- the editorial departments of the respective newspapers are not affiliated with the content.

Citizens' creation originally stemmed from advertisers needing to reach their target markets, but it eventually metamorphosized into a forum for local residents to express their opinions, according to the supplement's managing editor Cynthia M. Cook.

Editorial comes directly from the community, usually in the form of letters. "There's a direct relationship between what happens in the community and the letters we receive, and we do get enough letters to support the product" said Cook.

Cook believes the supplement's success stems largely from the area's strong sense of community.

"We try to publish letters reflecting current issues, especially if they're of particular interest to the community. We also take letters which offer a local slant on a global or national issue," said Cook.

The letters carry bylines at the top to give them the appearance of an article or story.

Stories must "read well" to be published, and different viewpoints, as well as reactions to prior stories, are welcome, Cook said.

Content is scrutinized and if the material seems off-center, offensive, reflects a personal agenda, or is sexist or racist, it won't get published, said Cook. …

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