A Pressing Question

“Why isn’t there ever any good news on television?”

During my 17 years as a journalist, this was by far the most commonly asked question I received from viewers.

The answer is a bit complicated.

First of all, there is some good news on television, it’s just usually buried beneath piles of bad news. And there is a lot of bad news in the world these days, unfortunately. So much so, that a lot of good news is being squeezed out because of time concerns. After all, with only a minute left in the newscast and a choice between the story of a mysterious stranger saving a family or the latest on a horrible train derailment— those in charge will choose the derailment 99% of the time.

It’s just the nature of the business. Time and time again the ratings indicate more viewers will stick around to watch the derailment.

It’s inevitable, but sad. Because there are a lot of good things happening in the world. Good people doing good deeds every day. We just don’t hear enough about them.

I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help people. I wanted to change lives. I remember one of the first reporters I ever “shadowed” when I was an eager, naive student took me aside one day and said, “Yeah, the stories that make a real difference…? You’ll do one— maybe two— a year.” I forged ahead, thinking he was wrong.

He wasn’t.

My reporting career was filled with tragic news. Fires, deadly shootings, horrible car wrecks. On a “good” day, it was filled with benign informational news: city council meetings, bridge repairs, new city ordinances.

Once in a while, a gem would appear. A sparkling diamond amongst the grains of sand on the beach. A chance to inspire and/or change lives.

Those stories always filled me with joy. So I feel compelled to share. Not just stories I reported on, but ones that appeared in newspapers and on TV… and were not given the time and attention that they deserved.

I hope these stories will fill your hearts with hope, and the knowledge that we do live in a wonderful world full of wonderful people.

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