A couple of years ago the management at the Standard Examiner, along with assistance from Project Director Kendal Rae Jensen, hit upon a publishing idea that caught on like fire in goat grass! Why not create a regional publication that focuses on the Western way of life. And thus, the Western Wasatch Magazine came into fruition.

In Kendal’s own words, “As a member of the western community, born and raised into a rodeo family and now working in advertising and publishing, I realized there has been a voice long unrepresented by the mainstream media in this area. My goal is to celebrate a wide variety of events, organizations, hobbies, industries and people in the community, to bring awareness of the western way of life and the benefits and opportunities it brings to youth.”

The Western Wasatch does that and more. In a time when many publications are struggling, this magazine has gained increased readers with each printing.

In a recent issue the magazine highlighted 35 different youth and their activities. It featured articles including rodeo events, youth organizations, animal care, agriculture, outdoors, Western fashion, and entertainment. You were able to read about a blossoming rodeo star at age 9 and a 75 year old outdoor enthusiast taking his first moose!

Creating each of the printings takes an enormous amount of time and manpower to come to fruition. The team includes: writers, photographers, layout artists, proofers, ad salespersons, managers and publisher to name of few.

One of the most valuable assets the piece has going for it is the numerous writers who supply articles for magazine. Staff writers Mark Shenefelt and Kris Blankman do an amazing job of covering major events and highlights, but many other community members also submit pieces for print. (I personally get a kick of Sam Lively’s “Musing of a Cowboy”.)

The most critical aspect of the success of the magazine focuses on the many businesses and organizations that advertise in the publication. Without them, the Western Wasatch would sink slowly into the sunset. It behooves all of us to support these sponsors and express our appreciation to them for their willingness to provide the financial means to keep the magazine in print.

It is disheartening to learn about regional publications that are scaling back their number of issues or going out of business altogether due to decreases in readership and advertising revenue. In the past month, two of the daily stalwarts in Northern Utah were forced to become weekly publications and a weekly newspaper serving Davis County since the advent of the pioneers was forced to close its operation altogether.

Printed newspapers have played a critical role in our democracy since the founding of this great country almost 250 years ago. Our forefathers understood the need and protected the right of publishers to present their wares and opinions to the public under the protection of the Bill of Rights. Newspapers are accountable to their readership, are housed in buildings and offices with physical addresses and employ responsible management. They do not hide under the disguise of the Web or distribute articles that have no bases for fact through online sources.

The Western Wasatch is a top of the line magazine that serves an important need and audience in Utah and surrounding areas. A tip of the hat to the Standard-Examiner and its ownership for their creative insight and courage in publishing and distributing this valuable piece of American heritage.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!