Our View...All the news that's fit to printEven a casual reader of last week’s Pine Journal newspaper and website would likely have noticed that a preponderance of the news section represented a “bad news” scenario.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
Even a casual reader of last week’s Pine Journal newspaper and website would likely have noticed that a preponderance of the news section represented a “bad news” scenario.
Stories of crime and tragedy proliferated the news hole – “Burglar caught in the act,” “Carlton man fires gun in the air, threatens girlfriend,” “Bus driver charged in incident involving 3-year-old,” “Miller faces more counterfeit charges”… You get the picture.
It was unfortunate that so many high profile “bad news” stories all seemed to come together at the same time, but that’s what was happening around the county last week.
There are many who claim newspapers (aka “the media”) seek out bad or sensational news in order to sell papers. And to be sure, often those stories are the ones that are the most read (at least according to our website, which has the capacity to measure such things). But it would be unfair to suggest the Pine Journal – or most other newspapers – looks for bad news instead of good to report to the community.
Community newspapers are a reflection of the communities they serve – nothing more and nothing less. Good news and bad news are a part of the human experience, and neither should be overlooked for the sake of making that experience appear rosier – or gloomier – than it is. To do so would be to paint an unrealistic picture of the world we live in.
If the Pine Journal had printed merely the good news last week, few would have had any idea that someone had been passing counterfeit bills around the county, and more businesses would have been vulnerable to the possibility of falling victim. Most probably wouldn’t have been aware that a man walked into someone else’s unlocked Esko home with an eye toward burglarizing it (though the homeowner was present), and chances are many more doors would have remained heedlessly unlocked as well. It simply makes good sense to know what is going on around the area in the interest of your own health and safety.
All is not doom and gloom, however. Also in last week’s Pine Journal was the account of a local family who was saved from carbon monoxide poisoning by their CO detector; the story of how the TXT4Life program is making critical support services available to struggling, and possibly suicidal, youth by offering them the opportunity to access trained professionals through text messaging; and a follow up about a local nursing home that has passed its final inspection by the Minnesota Department of Health.
All too often, folks tend to confuse the messenger with the message, and that’s where newspapers sometimes get a bum rap. If you’re reading this right now, that means you probably have an intrinsic belief that newspapers are worthwhile and merit your time and attention. And while “all the news that’s fit to print” isn’t always good news, we believe it is news you deserve to know.