This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Certain newsroom staffers, through their journalism and writing, become synonymous in readers' minds with the institution and brand of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Paul Rolly is one. Recently retired Tom Wharton is another. Robert Kirby, too.
Add Jennifer Napier-Pearce. A little over three years ago, she leapt from the world of radio and came into our newsroom as a business reporter. At the time, we were looking for ways to take our content onto new platforms, to try new things, to engage our audience in other venues all with the goal to increase that audience.
Napier-Pearce did it in ways we could not imagine. Her stint as a business writer didn't last, because she brought skills that would take us to new places and heights.
She is the consummate generalist, a journalist who understands and is expertly conversant on a breadth of Utah issues.
She knows the players. When she calls, they answer. And they talk.
She's among the best and toughest yet trusted interviewers Utah news media have ever seen, one who took top journalism awards for producing and hosting live radio and video programs while working for a newspaper, of all places.
Napier-Pearce created our Trib Talk daily video interview, presented live during the noon hour on sltrib.com. She conceived our Behind the Headlines reporter roundtable, broadcast every Friday on KCPW and Logan's Utah Public Radio. As if that weren't enough, she produced and hosted the majority of our monthly live events, such as the recent celebration of Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction at Trolley Square.
All this is prelude to bittersweet news: Jennifer Napier-Pearce is moving on to become communications director at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. We will miss her. She is one of those people who is truly impossible to replace.
LDS Church denounces The Tribune's coverage of sex assaults at BYU
Late Thursday afternoon, the public relations arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took the unusual step of calling out The Tribune for not seeking the church's comments on two stories involving the controversy of sexual assault and Brigham Young University's Honor Code, going so far as to accuse the paper of practicing "gotcha journalism."
I was contacted by a KSL reporter that night to respond to the blog post on lds.org. Here is what I said:
"I stand completely and unequivocally behind The Salt Lake Tribune's reporting on the issue of the sexual assault problem at BYU. We are telling the stories of real women facing real issues. If not for The Tribune, the story would not be told. I'm proud of our coverage. We consider this a BYU issue and have given BYU officials plenty of time to respond to our coverage."
The reporter asked a follow-up question about a story published two weeks ago that carried this headline: "How outdated Mormon teachings may be aiding and abetting rape culture."
The reporter asked, because the story involved LDS "doctrine" (his word) why church officials weren't asked for comment.
This was my response:
"I believe if you read the story carefully, we were not talking about doctrine, but about past statements and writings of leaders." And I added that, because the story included LDS policies from the church's current handbook, "the LDS official point of view is reported."
We at The Tribune, of course, are not above making mistakes and misjudgments.
But I am confident in the integrity of how these stories were reported and edited. In fact, our coverage has prompted BYU to review its Honor Code policies in sexual-assault cases.
Terry Orme is The Tribune's editor. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.