A group of Utah citizens, supported by the Salt Lake Tribune, campaigned in May and June of 1968 to change Utah's liquor distribution system from a state-owned package method to one which would allow mixed drinks. Opponents of the change were supported by the Deseret News.
The two newspapers became the spokesmen for the two opposing groups. A careful analysis of them shows that of the 2,844.6 column inches of space in the Tribune, and of the 1,856.2 column inches in the News, exclusive of advertising, more than eight per cent in each newspaper supported the editorial stand of that newspaper, while only slightly more than six per cent opposed it.
Neither the Salt Lake Tribune nor the Deseret News lived up to the standards of the journalism profession in the handling of the liquor issue in Utah. A complete view of the issues could not have been seen by reading either newspaper. Both were guilty of serving special interest groups; both used their news columns for opinion; both suppressed news and facts which did not conform with their own views; and both failed to be fair and impartial in reporting the two sides of the issue.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Communications
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Beckham, Raymond E. Sr., "The Utah Newspaper War of 1968: Liquor-by-the-Drink" (1969). Theses and Dissertations. 4515.
Deseret news, Salt Lake tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1890, Journalistic ethics, Liquor laws