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Tanner Talk to Address the Decline of Community Newspapers

Thursday, Nov. 07, 2013

Jeremiah Stettler (left) and Keriann Strickland (right)

Jeremiah Stettler (left) and Keriann Strickland (right).

Angela Brown (left) and Patricia Quijano Dark (right)

Angela Brown (left) and Patricia Quijano Dark (right).

A series of cross-disciplinary talks continues Nov. 13 with the second “Tanner Talk” focusing on the decline of local newspapers and the future of community media. The event will feature Jeremiah Stettler (social media manager for Social5), Keriann Strickland (senior editor of, Angela Brown (SLUG magazine) and Patricia Quijano Dark, (Deseret Connect’s Spanish-language products) who will offer their insights, concerns, warnings and prognostications as local newspapers struggle to stay in business and the nature of community news evolves.

Organizer and professor in the USU Department of Journalism and Communication Matthew LaPlante said he wanted to bring together a panel of experts who could speak to experiences beyond traditional newspaper journalism.

“I love newspapers,” LaPlante said. “That’s where I come from but we have to start opening up people to the idea that, yes, there are things that we are losing as local newspapers decline. But this also gives us an opportunity to redefine the ways we communicate in our communities.”

Formerly a political reporter and editor at The Salt Lake Tribune, Jeremiah Stettler now oversees the social media management company Social 5 as its vice president of content and operations. In just two years, Social5 has grown from a tiny startup with 12 Utah-based customers to an international operation that provides services to more than 2,000 businesses in six countries. Stettler is a Utah State University alum, having graduated in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and political science, and a master’s degree in public policy. Before entering social media, Stettler spent 14 years in the newspaper business covering everything from crime to politics to environmental activism.

Keriann Lynch Strickland is the managing editor for Alliance Health Networks, a Salt Lake City-based company that runs more than 50 disease-specific, social health networks. Her “side hustle” includes teaching communication courses at the University of Utah, working as a freelance writer and editor and acting as the senior editor of, a website dedicated to sharing the stories of successful women working in industries they love. Early in her career, Strickland had the opportunity to launch a privately-owned newspaper in Montana’s Flathead Valley along with four other 20-somethings. While she still believes that job might be “the most fun thing going,” a teaching fellowship at the University of Utah drew her to Utah, where she completed a master’s degree in communication. Strickland has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Montana.

Angela H. Brown has run the alternative publication SLUG magazine for more than a decade, since September of 2000. Brown has brought coverage to Utah’'s deserving local music scene, Utah’s action sports community and continues to give exposure to prominent underground national bands. Along the way, she has pioneered local band compilations, and has branded numerous successful events: Localized, a monthly music festival showcasing Utah bands; The SLUG Games ski and snowboarding series; and the Summer of Death skateboarding series. Brown also launched and perfected, where readers can read exclusive content, view photo galleries of community events, and find links to download back issues, the SLUG Mag iPhone app or the new weekly podcast “Soundwaves of the Underground.” In 2009, Brown launched Craft Lake City, an alternative art and crafts festival showcasing DIY handmade goods held at the Gallivan Center annually. Brown is on the advisory boards of the University of Utah’s KUER 90.1 FM and The People’s Market, a Sunday artisan and farmer’s market. Brown is also vice chair of the Utah Art’s Alliance, a nonprofit facilitator for the local arts community.

Patricia Quijano Dark is the editor of which was launched in June 2013. KSLespanol is the sister Spanish language site to is one of the top English language news websites in the United States with more than three million monthly unique visitors. Previously she edited the award winning newspaper OKespañol, a  Spanish language publication owned by Deseret management. OKespañol reached 100,000 Latinos along the Wasatch front prior to its close in February 2013. Dark was raised in New York City and her family hails from Argentina. She is a graduate of Columbia University and has worked for several publications in London, England, and at the Argentine daily Clarin, before moving to Salt Lake. She was later named executive director of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. During her tenure, the Chamber was awarded best medium sized chamber in the United States by the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and she was awarded best executive director by the same national association.

The 2013–14 Tanner Talks, a series of cross-disciplinary events focusing on the theme “Knowledge and Community,” is a presentation of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The complete schedule for the Tanner Talks, including a brief summary of each presentation, is online.

Related links:

USU Department of Journalism and Communication

USU College of Humanities and Social Sciences

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