On our 150th birthday, here’s how we’re building for a future with more local news

The Salt Lake Tribune launches Utah News Collaborative in partnership with organizations across the state

The first edition of The Salt Lake Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette was published on Saturday, April 15, 1871. The Tribune celebrates its 150th birthday in 2021.

The first issue of the Salt Lake Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette was printed April 15, 1871, and its front-page stories reflected what was important at the time.

Near the center of the page, readers found a warning against cutting timber on government lands. In a prominent spot at the top and to the left, a story recapped the U.S. Senate’s debate of an anti-Ku Klux Klan bill, designed to protect the civil and political rights of 4 million freed slaves.

An ad for First National Bank of Utah offered its expertise in gold dust and coin currency.

The Salt Lake Tribune — formerly the Daily Tribune and Utah Mining Gazette — turns 150 years old Thursday.

News and information that help us make better decisions remain critical. We hope it will be 150 years from now, too.

And yet, per Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Utah has gone from more than 430 print/online reporters in 2010 to fewer than 200 today. The reasons why have been extensively documented.

[Read more: See 150 years of Tribune photography]

At the nonprofit Tribune, we’re working hard to counter the prevailing narrative. During the past year, we’ve held steady, and we plan to add journalists to our team this year, all thanks to support from our readers and donors.

We know Utahns are passionate about what’s happening in their communities and others across the state. As a nonprofit, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to support local news wherever we can.

So as we celebrate 150 years, we are announcing the Utah News Collaborative as a way to share more news with more people.

The Tribune and participating partners will share stories with one another for publication online and in print.

We started this week, sharing a story about the dramatic rise in livestock killings with the Millard County Chronicle Progress, a longtime family-owned newspaper based in Delta. We hope to share more in the weeks and months ahead, and we are eager to feature a diversity of reporting from across the state.

We have started with a small group of publishers and with support from the Utah Press Association. We welcome others to join us as the collaborative grows.

We know partnerships and collaboration are keys to success for local news moving forward — we are grateful for our relationships and work with Amplify Utah, FOX 13, KCPW, KUER and others.

And we look forward to celebrating our 150th with you as the year unfolds.

All of us want strong communities today and for years to come. Elevating thoughtful local reporting can help us build them.

If you have any questions, find me at lgustus@sltrib.com.