Tooele

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Tooele Transcript Bulletin Associate Publisher Clayton Dunn gives a tour of the paper’s printing press. (Sahalie Donaldson)

Editor’s note: This city profile is part of a larger project in which Daily Universe reporters traveled across Utah and Wyoming to investigate the state of local newspapers.

City: Tooele

Population: 34,628

Newspaper: Tooele Transcript Bulletin

Circulation: Print and online, 40,000 online viewers a month. 11,000 print circulation.

History: Tooele, a city located about 30 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City, has rapidly expanded within the past decade. Utah residents have left the bustle of crowded cities with increasing frequency, drawn to more rural areas like Tooele. The city itself was industrialized in the 20th century when the Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad built a line straight through the town. However, prior to 1904 its population rested around 1,200 people.

Economy: As of the 2000 census, Tooele’s median income for a household in the city floated around $43,862. The city per capita income was $16,580 and about 6.4% of residents fell below the poverty line. The city is predominantly white and has a high population of young families. The average household income jumped distinctively as of 2016 to $56,602, according to the U.S. Census 2012-2016 American Community Survey five year estimate.

Newspaper: Tooele’s newspaper, the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, has held a steady presence in the city since its conception in 1894. While many small town papers have shrunk or faded into obscurity, the Tooele Transcript Bulletin has managed to remain a force in the community even today. The paper is distributed twice a week and the content has a lively online presence. The paper is printed in-house, an anomaly for a small town news source. Most news sources go to outside parties to print their content. However, the newspaper’s parent company, Transcript Bulletin Publishing, has in-house graphic designers, content creators, technical crews and photographers. Staff at the Tooele Transcript Bulletin recently purchased a new printing press to produce their newspapers. Elsewhere in the spacious facility, Transcript Bulletin Publishing pumps out posters, phone books, magazines, advertisements and any other job requested by clients.

An informal survey of readers by BYU reporting students about their newspaper showed the following:

Pros

  • Does a good job covering the city government
  • Covers crime extensively
  • Focuses on issues brought on by the city’s rapid growth
  • Lively online presence
  • Distributed twice a week
  • Covers local sports extensively
  • Does a good job generating revenue in unique areas

Cons

  • Struggles with business coverage
  • Rarely touches on state and federal issues as a whole
  • A member of the city council accused the paper of inserting personal bias in its stories
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