May 18, 2018 125 Years of Hometown Newspapers
By Tina Kirkham
By 1893, more than 50 newspapers were being published in Utah Territory. On December 17 of that year, two dozen publishers and editors gathered in Lehi to form a new organization: a cooperative body that would share information, set standards for journalism, and advocate for the business of newspapermaking in Utah. The meeting was unusual enough that several papers covered it. For example, the Deseret Evening News reported:
“A free-for-all discussion took place and it was the concources of opinion that a press association would be of advantage to Utah newspapers men in many ways, but more particularly in creating and maintaining a fraternal feeling and in elevating the tone of the Utah papers.”
Electing veteran newspaperman Edwin A. Littlefield as its first chairman, the Utah Press Association was the first trade association in the state. During its 125-year reign it would advocate for the more than 600 newspapers to be published in the course of Utah history.
Today, the UPA maintains a clipping service, a database of legal notices, and a statewide classified-ad service. As it has from its inception, the UPA also recognizes and honors Utah journalists. More information is available at the UPA web site.
Today, more than two million pages from over 150 Utah newspapers are available on Utah Digital Newspapers, where the full text of every page is word-searchable.
“Address to Utah Editors,” Salt Lake Tribune, 1893-12-25, page 1, last accessed March 14, 2018 at https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=12544786#contents.
“For a Press Association,” Deseret Evening News, 1893-12-18, page 5, last accessed March 14, 2018 at https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=1605830#contents.
“Territorial Press Association,” Salt Lake Herald, 1893-12-18, page 1, last accessed March 14, 2018 at https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/details?id=11068770#contents.
Utah Press Association web site, last accessed March 14, 2018 at https://utahpress.com.