Deseret Media Companies issue statement on civility in politics

Deseret Media Companies, the owner of the Deseret News, KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio, issued a statement Thursday on civility in politics, aimed at elevating the tone and nature of engagement in the political arena.

Deseret Media Companies CEO Mark Willes said the goal is to increase civility in political dialogue.

"What we'd like to do is try to help candidates focus on what they stand for, rather than try to tear down their opponent," Willes said. "Focus on real issues rather than things that really aren't issues."

Part of that policy will affect political ads through an online rating system that will permit one or more independent groups to rate the "civility" of such ads. The groups, including students and others who have an interest but not a stake in the political races, will be selected by a special DMC committee.

According to the DMC statement, political dialogue should:

  • Focus on issues and facts, not innuendo.
  • Discuss platforms and avoid personal attacks.
  • Inform rather than incite the electorate.
  • Avoid hyperbole in favor of balanced and reasoned discussion.
  • Afford respect and dignity to the political process, political opponents and other people regardless of race, nationality, religion and political viewpoint.
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