Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Meet the Mormons" premiers in Orem

The theatrical poster for "Meet the Mormons"
OREM, Utah -- The movie “Meet the Mormons” premiered in Orem, Utah this past Monday ahead of its official release date in October.

The showing of the movie was the third of three pre-screenings. The first was in Atlanta, Georgia on September 17 while the second was in Mesa, Arizona the very next day.

“Meet the Mormons” is a movie that is made by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the intention of helping non-members get to know more about the church. All financial gains made by the movie will be donated to charity.
The Orem premier of the movie was very crowded
 On the movie’s official website,, it states, “‘Meet the Mormons’ examines the very diverse lives of six devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Filmed on location and across the globe, Meet the Mormons’ takes viewers on a journey into the day-to-day realities of individuals living in the U.S., Costa Rica, Nepal and beyond. From their individual passions to their daily struggles, each story paints a picture as rich and unique as the next while challenging the stereotypes that surround the Mormon faith.”

Screening took place at Cinemark University Mall
While this isn’t the first movie to be made by the church, this is the first that they have distributed in movie theaters across the country. Previously made movies by the church such as “Legacy” and “The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepard” were released solely in Legacy Theater in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. There have been several LDS-themed movies such as “The Saratov Approach” that have been released nationwide, but none of them were officially made by the church.

Many people from the premier were turned away
Greg Ward, a student at Brigham Young University who attended the Orem premier, had this to say about the movie, “There’s lots of people out there who are curious about Mormonism and the LDS faith in general and this will give another opportunity for people to learn more about the church in a positive manner rather than just hearing about all the negative things that are out there on the internet or stories that they’ve heard from friends that are completely untrue.”

Excitement about the movie has been very strong as was shown by the high number of people that showed up for the Orem premier. Cinemark University Mall, the location of the screening, had a huge line that snaked around the theater. In fact, there were so many people there that many were turned down, despite the theater having two different screens showing the movie.

"Meet the Mormons" wristbands were handed out
“Meet the Mormons” will be released nationwide on October 10 in 30 different states and is rated PG for “some thematic elements.” Specific locations of release can be found on The website also allows people to request the movie to come to their city if it is not currently scheduled. Those requests will be granted based on the number of requests made for a certain area.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Future of Journalism

Recently in my Backpack Journalism class here at Brigham Young University, we read the introduction from our class text book, Journalism Next by Mark Briggs. What we read I actually found really interesting as it briefly talked about the future of journalism. There are a lot of points that he brought up in this introduction and I want to respond to just a few of them.

First off, he opens with a quote by William Gibson from 1993: "The future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed." I'm not quite sure what I think about that quote. I'm not sure we can exactly say that the future is already here. The future is in the future. We don't know what the future holds. Yes, it's true that in the last ten or so years that journalism has completely changed, and based on those changes we can make a prediction as to where journalism is going. However, we can't say for sure that this is the future. Heck, ten years ago it was a completely different field, so who knows what's going to happen in the next ten years.

That said, I am being a bit nit-picky with that statement. Whether or not the future is now or the future is in the future could be debated. What can't be debated is the fact that journalism has changed drastically in the last couple decades. For the longest time, newspapers was the way that news spread. With radio and TV, we started having news broadcasts as well, but newspapers were still a big thing. The internet changed things. People stopped reading physical newspapers and started reading things on the internet. Now with social media, that has changed even more.

So then the question we can ask is this. Is journalism dying? No. And that's what thing that Briggs brings up in this intro that I agree with. The future of journalism is very bright. It's just very different. The old school ways of journalism are what's dying and those who aren't willing and able to make the adjustments are those who will suffer. Personally, I think the digital age of journalism is much brighter and more effective in getting the honest truth out there. So no, journalism is not dead. It's not dying. In fact, I would say that it is growing and blossoming into something that's much better than it was before.

This brings me to the next point in this introduction. Briggs says that his last three jobs he's had did not exist when he was in college. Thus students have to prepare for jobs that don't exist. And professors have to teach and prepare their students for jobs that don't exist. This is definitely very true. How do you prepare like this? The overall principle is that you have to be flexible. There's a lot of people that are stuck in their ways. This is understandable. None of us really like change. But the cold hard fact is change exists. It will always exist. The way we will succeed is if we are willing to change as well. Sure there are times when it is good to hold our ground. This is especially true on a moral standpoint. If the morals of the world are degrading, don't let your personal morals degrade as well. But yet there are a lot of good changes out there that we need to be willing to accept. Some give change a negative connotation and this is a faulty perspective. Change can be good and we need to be willing to change.

The final point I want to talk about is that the future is in the hands of the rising generation. Briggs, in speaking to an audience of up and coming journalists, says, "Journalism needs you. It needs someone who can bring a fresh approach without the baggage that burdened earlier generations." I really like this quote. Some might be afraid to go into journalism because it seems like it is a dying breed, but it's not. The people who are currently in journalism are the people that went through this online and social media transition. The younger generation that is much more used to social media and the internet can give a lot to journalism. They can make it better.

In conclusion, I do think that the future of journalism is a bright one. It's been much of the same for quite a long period of time, but now it has changed drastically in just a short period of time and I think that it will continue to change drastically as time goes on. What does the future of journalism bring? I don't know. Is what we are experiencing right now the future of journalism. I don't know. What I do know is that I like what I see. And I am excited for it.