In the wake of non-stop bad news about the state of the Canadian and world economy, and readers who say they’re tired of reading about crime, politics and foreign wars, The Gazette on Tuesday launched a good-news-only page called “You’ll Like This”, which will appear every week.
The biggest problem with the idea of “good news” is that there is a reason news is rarely good. Good events are planned, bad events are unplanned and more newsy. “Good news stories” tend to be non-news fluff, particularly human-interest stories. They tend to fall into a few predictable categories:
- Fundraisers, charity and other events
- Miracle survival and other good-because-it-wasn’t-bad stories
- People coming together to work on some volunteer project
- Science news that makes us feel good about ourselves or see hope for the future
- Amazing/funny coincidences and other believe-it-or-not stuff
Editor-in-chief Andrew Phillips tackles the skepticism of us curmudgeonly cynics head-on in a piece introducing the page. He says “…It’s not about highlighting light and fluffy items with no lasting consequence. There’s no reason that substantive, even ‘serious,’ stories can’t focus on the positive.”
The first two articles in this new section include a piece by Peggy Curran on McGill Law Outreach, where law students go to high schools with high drop-out rates and encourage kids to keep working on their education, and another from David Yates on the LaSalle Lions Novice A hockey team, undefeated in 51 games (which probably sucks for every other team in the league).
The paper is also asking readers to send in their good news stories to share with others. No doubt they’ll get a few tear-jerkers.
There’s also an unrelated week-long optimism series from Canwest, which today focuses on health and living longer.