Before National Newspaper Week concludes on Saturday, let’s take a closer look at a common complaint lobbed at the news business.
Readers tell us that we bring attention only to problems, not the “good news.”
Granted, journalists traditionally have focused on, for example, the one airplane that crashes on a particular day, not the thousands of trouble-free flights. That’s mainly because the doomed flight is the exception, and therefore the newsier item, and the one that people will want to learn about in great detail.
However, most print and online editions of the paper also are chock full of celebratory news (weddings, engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, honors and awards), informative material (public meeting notices and event listings) how-to advice, and a lot of potentially helpful items.
On the Opinion Page in particular, we strive to spotlight possible solutions. An editorial might take to task the owners of a public housing complex because of rampant crime on the property, but then offer details about crime-prevention strategies tried elsewhere. More often than not, readers of timesleader.com also will find that our editorials contain links connecting them to useful sources of further information: official reports, related news articles or websites rich in inspiration or ideas. (It’s up to readers to then put these plans, if deemed appropriate, into action.)
Regular readers of the Times Leader’s Monday print edition know to expect editorials asking “Is this a good idea?” Among the hodgepodge of suggestions made this year:
• Create a “signature event” in the county for foodies. “A pizza festival might solidify this region as a cut above, potentially drawing visitors from afar to sample the dishes — and the deep dishes — we know and love,” stated our June 6 editorial.
• Encourage area teens to adopt safe social media habits. The editorial referred readers to an online tool called “The Smart Talk,” intended to help parents and their offspring reach a healthy compromise on the household’s Internet rules.
• Strengthen police coverage in Luzerne County through the consolidation of small cop shops. This piece highlighted data contained in a previously published column submitted by a Pennsylvania Economy League director.
Ideally, the newspaper that you turn to daily goes far beyond the gloom, giving you and other readers information upon which to further think, discuss, base decisions and ultimately act. In turn, that can lead to better understanding, better lives, a better community.
And that’s a very, very good thing.