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It’s OK to report good news!

It’s OK to report good news!

There are two types of news: good and bad. Depending on the story, what is good news for some could be bad news for another. It’s a fact of life.

In order to convince people to care about the news, journalists and reporters are constantly trying to find new ways to present the information so that it’s attention grabbing. Big pictures, flashy headlines and dramatic music have become the norm.

The other day, the news was on a television in a public place when the horror music was cued up. Deep, minor tones played from the speakers while a very serious voice worked hard to describe the severity of the situation: “Rochester’s crime rate is at an all time low — but are we really safe?”

YES! That is exactly what it means when crime rate is low. It means streets, stores, children, elderly and whoever else are safer! There is a chance that Rochester police could just be napping in their cars and not actually protecting the city. In which case, crime rates would be low not because there is less crime, but because there is no one gathering accurate statistics. Right, because that’s a likely scenario.

What a ridiculous statement. Would it really be so terrible to celebrate the fact that the Rochester community is becoming a nicer place for people to live? Why take good news, dramatize it, then spin it into a negative tale?

There are arguments that people like negative news. They are drawn to bad news like a moth to a light bulb. They feast on it and regurgitate it to friends, neighbors and family members. “Oh, didn’t you hear?” “Isn’t that awful?” “What a shame…” Is that really true? Do people prefer bad news to good news? Wouldn’t someone much rather hear they’ve won $30 than they owe $20? Look at the articles, blog posts, photos and cartoons that are shared on social media. A cursory glance indicates they are sweet, kind and dripping with sentiment. When people are given the opportunity to share their favorite news bits they highlight stories of a tiny puppy barking at a tiny pumpkin, pictures of grown children taking care of their elderly parents, stories of strangers paying for the next person’s coffee, sharing support for bullied middle school students and thanking veterans for their service. All of these sort of stories have one thing in common: people wanting to feel good about the human race.

When people are given the chance, they choose happiness over sadness. There are situations when bad things happen. It is unfortunate, but it is a reality. Enough bad things happen on their own, there is no reason to spin something good into a tale of tragedy.

Contact staff writer Amie Johansen at [email protected] com

Amie Johansen

Staff Writer

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