Culture, says reporter Palak Jayswal, is how we empathize, communicate and learn about each other.

Culture, says reporter Palak Jayswal, is how we empathize, communicate and learn about each other.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Palak Jayswal.

Who would we be without culture?

It’s a daunting question and, perhaps, an overly broad one. There are so many areas of our lives in which culture permeates: The shows you binge-watch, the music you listen to, where you decide to eat dinner.

Culture is how a society responds to events, change and, yes, politics. It captures how we evolve and often how we fail.

Without culture, it’s safe to say there is no joy.

In the past two years, newsrooms across the country have seen changes in how they cover the arts. This area of creativity that inexplicably connects us all — that makes us human — has unfortunately lost both momentum and coverage. The simple truth is that, between the pandemic and budget cuts, the arts and culture world came to a standstill.

But these days, we need culture more than ever, and The Salt Lake Tribune recognizes that.

Culture is how we empathize. It’s how we communicate. It’s how we learn about one another. It teaches us how to relate to a work of art, or production, or group, and feel a little bit less alone.

Ultimately, that’s what I’d like to do through my reporting at The Tribune: Help people discover new ideas, innovations and creations that make them feel better. I’ve always loved the arts, for the simple reason that connecting with the right work at the right time can have a lasting impact on someone. There is nothing more satisfying to me than someone opening up about what they are passionate about, and to be able to share that experience with others.

I want to help share cultural stories that haven’t been told. I want to remind everyone in a world full of at times depressing headlines that there is still good out there, and an abundant amount of joy to be sought out.

As our society continues to evolve, so does the state of journalism. Our goal here at The Tribune with culture reporting is not only to elevate those stories, but to experiment with the best formats to tell them. As I see it, my job as the culture reporter is to be vigilant about what’s going on, and to find the best way to share that with all of you.

I want to write more in-depth stories. I want to take readers in our state, and beyond, and show them what Utah culture really is. There are countless stories to be shared. Hundreds of creatives who have something to say. Dozens of things to discover and to find comfort in.

I want to take readers backstage, behind the scenes and beyond the page.

Utah is gravely misjudged as a place without culture — or worse, there are simplified assumptions about what our culture is. We have so many different facets of culture that it’s overwhelming. The trouble is that few people talking about it, or sharing it with others. I’m hoping to change that, to showcase exactly what makes the culture of Utah so unique.

I’m here to listen and engage with every corner and crevice of this state, to the best of my ability. From downtown Salt Lake City to the state line, in every direction.

There is a lot that divides us. But there’s a lot that connects us, too — and at the heart of that notion is culture. Without it, we wouldn’t be better off.

Let’s show everyone what Utah culture really is, from the big events to the small ones. Send tips and story suggestions or say hello at [email protected]

Palak Jayswal is the culture reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune.

You may also like...