I wish there were a TV station, a radio station, a newspaper, a magazine, or a website–some form of mass communication–that only reports good news.
I’m getting pretty fedstrated–that’s a new word I just coined combining fed up with frustrated–with bad news. I occasionally make the mistake of watching or reading too much news. Before long, I am feeling irritated, upset, angry, fed up, frustrated–fedstrated.
My wife and I have agreed that we can’t take too much more than 15 minutes of repetitive bad local or national news before fedstration sets in.
I am fedstrated with the “Fourth Estate” (print, electronic, and digital media). As a collective group, it appears to zero in on everything that’s bad about the human condition and relegate the good to the back pages or the cutting room floor—or, in the digital age, the delete file.
This negativity pervades every element of society–politics, religion, education, national security, the economy, health care: You name it, the media will dig up the negative.
Don’t get me wrong; I am a pragmatist. I am a realist. I live in the real world and understand it can be a dangerous place with bad people who do bad things.
I also understand that news reporters must report negative findings as they occur if they are to keep the American public informed.
But I contend that for every bad person doing bad things, there are 10, 20, 30 or more good people doing good things. I want to hear more of their stories.
Journalists today think that if they aren’t reporting bad news, they aren’t real journalists. They are led to believe that good news is fluff, “soft” reporting, cream puff stories only for second-string reporters.
The Fourth Estate perpetuates that position, presenting awards for “best investigative reporting,” and generally the investigation isn’t a positive one. How about some awards for Good News?
I believe that good news needs to be categorized as “hard” news. It is just as critical for people to know about the good their fellow people are doing as it is to know the bad.
I am pragmatic, but I am also an optimist. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, and I believe that the vast, silent majority of people are good and will do the right thing most of the time; it is the small percentage of bad people who steal the headlines.
The silent majority doesn’t seek headlines; therefore, they are content doing good without recognition. However, because of their silence and avoidance of recognition, their stories are not heard nearly enough.
Well, I have good news! In the process of preparing this Friday’s Week-Ender, I discovered some websites that feature only news about people doing good things. If you want to brighten up your Friday, put down that local or national paper, mute the TV news, and take a look on the web for some good news.
For example, on the “Huff Post Good News” (www.huffingtonpost.com/good-news/), you can read about the hitchhiking, homeless man who appeared like an angel to help save the life of a newborn. Or about the unemployed Chicago woman who helped a perfect stranger find the missing wedding ring he’d accidentally dropped into a street saxophone player’s box.
“Happy News” (www.happynews.com) features a video news piece (that appeared on NBC) about an organization that provides hearing aids for kids whose parents normally wouldn’t be able to afford them. The site also has authors who talk about things such as the power of positive momentum; the type of personal and positive traits children need; or the cleansing qualities of forgiveness.
On “Good News Gazette” (www.goodnewsgazette.net), you can find out about how a small Georgia town came to declare a “Random Acts of Kindness Day,” or about the homeless Army veteran in Texas who repaid a small act of kindness by volunteering to help others.
I guess what I’m getting at is that there is a lot of good in the world if you look for it; but you’d never know it by watching the normal news shows or reading newspapers.
I think we all get so wound up in our everyday issues that it’s not easy to stop and recognize good news when we see it. I know I am guilty of this. But when good does occur, it is magnified when the story is shared with others.
So on this Friday, are there any PRB readers with some Good News you want to share with others? Have you seen someone doing good things that deserve sharing? We could start a “Good News Thread” right here on the PRB website and put a stop to all the fedstration.
Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine who also served for 15 years in municipal parks and recreation, is now a full-time photojournalist who lives in Peachtree City, Ga.; he can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email email@example.com.