Seth Bracken, the former online editor at the LDS Church-owned Deseret News, has been named the new editor of QSaltLake.
“I have been an avid reader of QSaltLake for a few years now,” Bracken told GLAAD. “Even before I came out of the closet, I would sneak into coffee shops and grab the paper when I thought no one was looking. The paper helped me connect to a community that I longed to be a part of.”
The Utah native replaces Michael Aaron, who will remain as the magazine’s publisher. Bracken landed his position after meeting Aaron through the Utah Q Business Alliance.
Reflecting on his time at the Deseret News, the new editor expresses appreciation and frustration with the Mormon operated paper.
“Working for the Deseret News helped me learn a lot about the newspaper industry and I grew professionally and personally,” shared Bracken. “However, the environment is not conducive to anyone that is gay. I am sure if you contacted the management, they would say something different. But the paper is owned by the Mormon Church and it reflects the values of the church.”
Beyond mandatory prayers at staff meetings and portraits of Mormon leaders hung along the hallways, employees had to ensure what they reported reflected the values of the church.
“In the back of everyone’s mind, in every decision made about the website and the paper was the thought, ‘What will the Mormon church think about this?’ I simply could not survive in an environment like that.”
Bracken hopes to inject new energy to QSaltLake and is currently developing the paper’s website.
“I love that we can be a paper oriented to a specific group of people, without compromising our journalistic integrity.”