Summarized by Kent Larsen
Deseret News Mayoral Questionnaire makes industry news (Deseret News gets pushy in mayoral race)
Editor & Publisher pg 10 30Oct99 D3
By Joe Strupp
The Deseret News came under fire last month both from Salt Lake's
mayoral candidates and form cross-town rival the Salt Lake Tribune
after it sent an invasive 31-item questionnaire to both candidates
for mayor. Now, newspaper industry publication Editor &Publisher has
reported on the incident and newspaper journalists, editors and
publishers are learning from its mistake.
The questionnaire was sent to mayoral candidates Rocky Anderson and
Stuart Reid, asking them questions that both the candidates and the
Tribune considered 'invasive.' The items included questions like:
Have you ever had a lifethreatening illness? Have you ever defaulted
on a loan? and , Did you ever drop out of high school or junior high?
The candidates reacted somewhat differently, but both criticized the
newspaper for the coverage. Anderson limited some of his answers to
the questionnaire and Reid simply refused to answer any of the
questions. The questionnaire was also criticized because it failed to
ask about any of the governmental and legislative issues in the
campaign, such as crime, taxes, housing or education.
The Deseret News defended the questionnaire, saying that it planned
to use it only as a research tool for candidate profiles. Editor John
Hughes said the questionnaire was necessary, after scandals involving
outgoing mayor Dee Dee Corradini.
The article did not explore reactions from journalists, editors and