The need for good news

Selby Schnobrich, Contributing Writer

In the past few months, the lives of people across the world have been turned upside-down. The unprecedented effects of a global pandemic have uprooted life as we once knew it. Some things that we have had to learn to live without are sports, bars, restaurants, shopping malls and movie theaters — the list goes on and on. However, one thing that has remained unassailably prevalent through this crisis is our widespread dependence on mainstream media. I check the news when I first wake up, and periodically throughout the day. What is the Center for Disease Control & Prevention suggesting? Is the death count going up in my state or county? What celebrity just got diagnosed with the coronavirus? It is impossible to go on the internet without being overwhelmed with news on the pandemic. At once a dark vortex of seemingly apocalyptic memoranda, and a means to couch helplessness in informed, purposeful action, we simply cannot live without the mass media as we sit and wait for stay-at-home orders to be lifted. The last few weeks, fortunately, have brought a resolve to bring positivity back into everyone’s daily lives. Actor John Krasinski, best known for his role as Jim in the hit TV series, “The Office,” has begun a news segment called “Some Good News” (SGN), which shares uplifting stories that serve to brighten a time that has been wracked with tragedy. 

Some Good News has honored healthcare workers, cancer survivors and even musical theater fans in its weekly 20-minute segments. Krasinski has received an outpouring of positive stories to share and has no doubt made a lasting impact both on the lives of those he honors in the show as well as those that watch it. However, one has to wonder why it took a global pandemic for us to finally spotlight good news? Morning talk shows, such as Good Morning America, have had segments that are meant to highlight good news, but to have a mainstream news outlet cover only good news is still something to be desired. While it is doubtful Krasinski will continue SGN once stay-at-home orders are lifted and he continues his acting career, the lack of a global pandemic should not and will not end the public’s need for good news. 

Mainstream media’s purpose is to report on current events, and while this may be what they are doing, their slant toward reporting on politics and criminal behavior takes its toll on the psyche of the nation. CNN and Fox News have reputations of being significantly biased toward a political party, turning them into a source of conflict rather than a dependable way to educate people about current events. Late-night talk shows with Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert or Conan O’Brien report the news in a comedic fashion, which is more popular amongst young people than regular news outlets. Yet even with the comedic element, the stories still revolve mostly around political polarization or celebrity scandals. With SGN, John Krasinski has lit a torch that will eventually lead us to the light at the end of the tunnel. Once we are through the darkest of these times, it is important to remember that good news does not become suddenly irrelevant once there is less bad news. Someone must pick up Krasinski’s torch and bring the public its first mainstream good news outlet dedicated solely to the purpose of spreading positivity through the unnoticed kindness and fortitude of everyday people.

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