We’ve never seen anything like it. Like a slow-motion tidal wave, the COVID-19 virus is flooding the world with realities that are exceeding our worst expectations. Few of us would have dreamed that something nearly invisible would become so tangible. We simply don’t know the extent of sickness, anxiety, lost employment, education quality and economic toll. Time will likely tell a very sobering story.
The Times-Independent’s mission since the year Utah got statehood—1896—has been to keep our community informed. As the newspaper of record in Grand County, what started as the Grand Valley Times and then merged years later with The Independent, has been produced on site every week without fail. The newspaper is the oldest continuously operating retail/service business in southeastern Utah.
Through lean times and booms, the staffs of this newspaper have recorded essential information, whether it be civic meetings, deaths, births, weddings or wrecks. Journalism isn’t a job. It’s a way of life. We don’t clock in at 8 and leave at 5.
It is this newspaper’s passion to provide the news to every consumer who wants to stay informed. We have never covered a topic as ever changing as the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every journalist on the planet would agree.
The very nature of this health crisis leaves no one on the globe unscathed in one way or another. We truly are all in this together.
Staff at The Times-Independent are working extra long hours to keep our news updated. Although we are a weekly paper, the beauty of digital media allows us to post important updates from vital bodies such as elected boards, law enforcement, health care providers and schools. We utilize social media and our web page. If you don’t already have us bookmarked on your laptop, please do.
When entrepreneur J.N. Corbin launched The Grand Valley Times on May 30, 1896, he wrote, “The newspaper has become a necessary factor in the civilization of the age.” In his editorials he battled for better drinking water, better schools, better roads and better medical professionals.
In 1907, Grand County Attorney C.A. Robertson bought the paper when its longevity was in serious question. He went to great lengths to keep the presses running, largely out of fear that the paper would close its doors as was happening with scores of other pioneer publications across the state. His young brother-in-law Loren L. “Bish” Taylor became his “printer’s devil” in 1910, and a year later Robertson, juggling a busy legal business that spanned a quarter of a century, turned the paper over to Taylor.
Interestingly, Robertson died in 1932 at the young age of 53, the victim of an influenza epidemic that was said to have touched every family in Moab.
Bish Taylor ran the paper for half a century, buying out a competing newspaper called The Independent, thus creating The Times-Independent. Son Sam Taylor, fresh out of the army in the late 1950s, stepped in to help and ultimately become publisher-editor, a career he shared with his wife Adrien for more than 50 years.
The Museum of Moab recorded an oral history of Sam Taylor in 2003. In it, the questioner asked him, “I guess the newspaper is going to keep plugging along, providing us with our information of Moab for…” and Taylor completed the sentence, “Forever, I hope.”
In that spirit, we here at The T-I have never taken our jobs more seriously. News is changing fast, and people need to know what’s happening.
Subscriptions provide significant support to this newspaper. But advertising is what keeps us alive. The advent of digital media has shuttered papers all around the globe over the past couple of decades and it hasn’t been kind to us here at 35 E. Center. But we have managed to keep going, largely out of a duty and longing to serve our community. COVID-19 is making us redouble our efforts to keep people informed. In that vein, we are offering three-month subscriptions free to any Grand County resident who does not already have one.
If you don’t already get the T-I, please call our office and give us your mailing information. Our only request is that transactions be done by telephone. Call 435-259-7525 or email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
If nothing else, you can use it if your toilet paper runs out.