Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Horray for Good News!

For years I’ve been telling local newspaper editors, “Get the bad news off of your front pages. Put it on page six.” My reasoning was that anyone looking at moving to a town with a new business, new idea or just to call home is going to subscribe to the local newspaper before they move. If all they read on the front page is muggings, shootings and other bad news they are going to believe that is what happens a lot in that town and move on.

Yesterday the Calgary Sun newspaper in Alberta, Canada decided to only print good news in their newspaper. Here is what they said in their editorial announcing it, “Newspapers around the globe are filled with page after page of bad news -- this humble journal included. We make no excuses for it. Sadly, bad news tends to have the biggest and most immediate impact on people's lives.”

They went on, “So with that in mind, we've filled the paper with what we would call good news. Stories and pictures of inspiration and hope, or at the very least, news that doesn't have you fast-forwarding to the horoscope and comics to escape things that upset you.”

George McLean did the same thing every day of the year, choosing to report the good news items that happened in Tupelo, MS on his front pages. Today, Tupelo is one of the boomtowns that I talk about as I travel around the country.

You can surround yourself with all the negatives in life or you can find some good things also. Our hometowns would be well served if our hometown editors chose to find good news items to put on the front pages of our local newspapers.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jack, Love your blog and read it everyday. I manage and co-own the Radio Stations in Concordia, Kansas. Not only should newspapers do the positive spin as you suggest but the electronic media should as well and our Radio Stations strive to do just that. The following is from our mission statement. "Unlike traditional media, our objective is to put a “positive spin” on the news and events we cover. We’ll report negative news with absolutely no sugarcoating BUT we’ll get straight to the point avoiding sensationalism."

I'm in somewhat of a unique situation as I not only co-own our local stations but also am on my third term on the Concordia City Commission.

BoomtownUSA said...

I love your approach and mission statement. It is so important for the long term health of a community. There is way too much negativity in our small towns without the media adding to it.

Thanks for what you are doing.

jack

Bruce Snook said...

Jack,

Thanks for your "Horray for Good News!" post. I found it, the subsequent comments from Kansas, and your follow-up thoughts interesting and encouraging as I work to launch my own "online journalism" venture this spring in Southwest Michigan. The enterprise will draw on my 25-year career in radio broadcasting, the last 15 spent as news director and host of a daily talk show on our local radio station, followed by 15-plus years as the director of our local chamber of commerce.

My goal is to be a solid source of news, information and features about our area and to provide a vehicle for area residents to get involved in the communication process. "Pro-am journalism" is one of the phrases I've encountered as a way to describe what I'm working toward. "Good News" will certainly be a key ingredient, not to deny reality, but to offer a more balanced view of life than what is often portrayed in the media.

Thanks for the positive approach you provide through your blog. Keep up the good work!

BoomtownUSA said...

Bruce: I love your idea and would love to get information when you launch. It is ideas like this from all over the country that I love to find and report on.

Jack

Bruce Snook said...

Jack,

Thanks for your interest. I will be sure to let you know when my online venture -- River Country Journal -- is ready to go.

Bruce