Sharing good news

Published 2:57 pm Thursday, August 6, 2015

News is a unique word with equal connotations of good and bad.

As a newspaper, we’re committed to publishing both, good and bad. Achieving the right balance is another issue, one that media sources are considering anew.

While it’s a well-known fact that bad news sells, the reason is not always clear. Some surveys suggest that the phenomenon of seeking out bad news is human nature, possibly a protective instinct to avoid similar incidents and situations from affecting our own lives. On a more practical note, readers like regular followers of the obituary page, check out “bad news” simply to count their blessings —  “to make sure my name isn’t there.”

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That, in a way, is making good news out of bad.

Whether good or bad, The Herald will continue to present factual news as it occurs, allowing readers to read and judge it accordingly. With the redesign of our paper, The Herald has stepped up its news coverage. The Herald believes that items of public record, including arrests and court dispositions, should be published. Regular reports of both will be included in our pages.

At the same time, we are offering new features dedicated exclusively to good news. On the Opinion page, “Way to Go” will offer a space to recognize individuals and organizations that make our community a better place to live. A similar feature on the Sports page, “High Five,” will focus on outstanding local athletes.

Yes, we are happy to report, good news is not dead. If you think it is, just take a look at Facebook. On any given day good news and good deeds are recognized and shared many times over. A recent example, posted by a Richmond television station, featured a young man washing windows at Hardee’s. A passerby took a photo of the young man when he took the arm of an elderly woman to assist her across the parking lot. That simple act of kindness not only “went viral,” it provided the young man with an unexpected bonus from Hardee’s — $1,000 to assist with college expenses.

Readers of The Herald are also invited to “go viral” with good news. Send us your good news items (with photo) of neighborly acts that go above and beyond, young people promoting a good cause or a group or organization offering a needed helping hand. We’ll share it in every issue.

Yes, good news is catching, and you’re invited to help — it’s the “Way to Go!”