Some of you might be amazed to learn how often we are accused of only publishing bad news, all in an effort, of course, to sell newspapers. Statistically speaking, it is true that bad or negative news is read by more people, shared by more people on social media platforms and gets a higher volume of web traffic than what we all generally would consider good news stories.
But the truth is, we’re not as motivated by that as you might think. Sure, we want to sell newspapers. We want the web traffic and the shared Facebook posts. Know why? That’s the business we are in. Ask Tracy Terrell, Bal Ballentine and Brad Russ if they want to sell cars along Greenwood’s Motor Half-Mile. And just as these guys won’t force a particular model or color down a buyer’s throat, we don’t force a particular type of story down readers’ throats. Our pages carry plenty of good-news stories.
For example, Thursday’s front page led with a story from Columbia related to the budget plan the House passed. Now, depending on whether you consider yourself on the receiving end or the end from which government taketh away, that was a good or bad news story. Really, the bad news is how long it takes for the folks in Columbia to haggle over things before they even get to the point of a vote. Two other stories graced the front page. One shared how the Stoney Point neighborhood has set up a Little Free Library so residents can swap books, the other shared the tale of a Lander University junior, Donald Stroud, who has accepted a prestigious internship invitation from Harvard.
All of this is simply to say thumbs up to these good news tales and the people who let us know about them so we are able to share them with you, our readers. Believe it or not, we really do enjoy telling the good and uplifting human interest stories. After all, there’s more to our lives -- your lives -- than what takes place in law enforcement circles. There’s plenty of tragedy, sadness and crime to go around. Heck, the good news helps keep us all sane. And thankfully, not everyone out there is threatening to pull off another Columbine or Sandy Hook. That can help restore our faith in our fellow man.
A couple of readers shared that they notice the thumbs are more often pointed upward when this weekly Viewpoints feature rolls around, and they’re right. See? Another example of our acknowledging good news in the community. Anyway, it seems as if we are being remiss in not pointing out a few things that warrant a thumbs down, so we did some digging into the news of the past few days and came up with these:
-- We’ll have to give a thumbs down to the area appliance stores that are, for whatever reason, refusing to offer the latest and greatest kitchen appliance. We are obviously referring to the new microwaves that come with high-quality cameras and ample storage space. Those things would come in handy for spying on spouses and house guests. You know, sometimes you just need surveillance equipment that no one suspects is anything more than -- well, anything more than a common household appliance.
-- Thumbs down to the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in D.C. as they cannot seek or find common ground in an effort to address health care in a sane manner. One side wants to totally scrap the Affordable Care Act, the other wants to stand firm in the Obama camp. Really, nothing that comes out of Washington is perfect -- not initially and, frankly, rarely ever. Government gets weighed down in government morass, and some of those lawmakers become morass -- if you get what we mean. Anyway, they should simply agree that what was cobbled together under President Obama could use some help, some remodeling. Take the working parts and then improve on it. What they seem to lose sight of is the fact that they’re supposed to be making improvements to a system designed for the people. It’s for the people’s well-being, not the politician’s political standing. Get priorities straight.