about the Tribune
A letter from the Chair of the Board
A year ago, The Salt Lake Tribune made the unprecedented transition from a for-profit daily news outlet to a publicly funded 501(c)(3) charitable organization. It’s been an incredible year. Thank you for your support in this endeavor.
At that time I told you that I believe that public support, not profit, should drive the future of this newspaper, preserving the dynamic future of our publication. You have supported us in droves and we thank you.
As we head into our 150th anniversary year, we are continuing to evolve and create a new business model that will ensure The Tribune will be here for generations to come.
Fact-based, quality journalism is vital to our democracy. People across the nation are looking to us to create a new model for local journalism, and I tell them they can count on Utah.
Thank you for reading, for your support and for being a part of this journey.
—Paul Huntsman, Chairman of the Board of Directors
The Salt Lake Tribune is Utah’s voice. Building on a legacy of courageous, watchdog journalism, we tell stories that are interesting, important and inclusive in an accurate, fair and contextual manner. We engage, educate and empower our readers with reporting that informs and advances healthy civic discourse.
by the numbers
from 27 grants
a year in review
2020 brought a number of unexpected changes to our lives and to those of our readers.
When COVID-19 shut down most of Utah, followed shortly by the first earthquake Salt Lake City has seen in years, The Tribune dropped its meter on all earthquake and coronavirus-related stories. We’ve continued to allow free access to our daily coronavirus story, an imperative public service that aligns with our mission as a nonprofit.
As sports shut down, those reporters pivoted to cover other news. Real Salt Lake reporter Alex Vejar and BYU athletics reporter Norma Gonzalez worked on a project on how COVID-19 affects local Hispanic populations and Utah Jazz reporter Andy Larsen, a college math major, pivoted to writing a column three days a week explaining the data of COVID-19.
Andy’s work has been some of the most informative, most shared and most impactful journalism in 2020.
Read Andy's Stories:
A Changing World
On a Saturday in late May, a peaceful march against racism and police violence was derailed by vandalism and cars on fire, police used rubber bullets, an officer was caught on video knocking down an older man with a cane while another man threatened protesters with a bow and arrow, the mayor issued an extended curfew, and the governor summoned the National Guard.
Our team spent the day on the street documenting the social unrest. That Saturday kicked off weeks of more in-depth and multifaceted reporting, from stories on the passionate debates around defunding police and banning knee-on-neck restraint, to explainers about how bad cops are disciplined and what reform efforts are gaining traction. Thousands of people have watched our virtual town halls exploring racism, police reform and policy changes in Utah. Our opinion section has provided a needed platform for thoughtful commentary and debate. Crucially, our photographers have documented the protests every night and shared stunning images of both pain and solidarity.
This is what recording the first draft of history looks like.
major partnerships & grants
Facebook Local News Accelerator
The Tribune was one of 13 newsrooms in North America selected to participate in Facebook’s 2020 digital subscriptions accelerator. The program combines a design/do approach with collaboration in hands-on workshops to drive subscription growth. The program came with a $150,000 grant to drive changes. We’ve seen our monthly subscription revenue double as a result of changes made during the program.
Facebook Local News Accelerator
Google News Initiative
The Google News Initiative granted the Tribune a $252,000 in 2019, the funding was used in 2019 and 2020. The funding was for the Tribune’s transition from a for-profit to a nonprofit institution. Included in funding were tools and staffing to accelerate the transition and to create a sustainable business model for small- and mid-sized legacy news organizations. We created a playbook for GNI around this model to share with other media.
The Google News Initiative
The James S. & John L Knight Foundation
The James S. & John L. Knight Foundation granted $250,000 to the Salt Lake Tribune to identify and implement policies and procedures to operate as a nonprofit news organization. The specifics of this grant were to research, develop and test sustainable revenue strategies to deliver public service journalism through membership programs, subscriptions, paywalls, a major gifts program, events and others. It was also used to increase the Tribune’s presence in the public by conducting meaningful community engagement such as public events, member events, focus groups and hosting civic dialogues.