You Want It? You Got It! Bringing the Audience what it Needs Now
Despite journalistic objectivity, many news outlets have tendencies to focus on the negative. Crimes, controversies, disasters, and crises simply make more pressing stories than most good news in the world. This is all the more prevalent now as climate change, stock market crashes, and a global pandemic dominate the headlines.
With all of the doom and gloom currently dripping from the wounds of the world, people have become famished for something more up-lifting. Luckily, outlets for such good news exist, and they have been witnessing a thermal (viral?) runaway in popularity during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Sources emphasizing good news were around long before the coronavirus rendered the world thirsty for positivity. Websites like Good Good Good and The Global Positive News Network have been active for years, but have noticed increases in traffic over the past month.
The same goes for social media accounts such as Instagram’s @TanksGoodNews, @GoodNews_Movement, and @The_Happy_Broadcast. All of these pages have seen spikes in followers since March as they continue to seek out and report optimistic content throughout the pandemic.
Perhaps the most uproarious of good news outlets to come about in the past few weeks, however, is actor John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” YouTube broadcast. From the comfort of his home, Krasinski has produced and hosted four videos where he reports all of the good going on in the world. Riddled with humor, acts of charity, guest appearances via Zoom from Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, David Ortiz, Steve Carrel, Chance The Rapper, and Rain Wilson as well as remote performances from The Jonas Brothers and the entire “Hamilton” cast, “Some Good News” is both hilarious and heartfelt, and the videos have all received millions of views.
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Even more established newspapers, networks, and trades have tried to appease readers in search of cheerful stories. The Washington Post pumped up its weekly uplifting newsletter The Optimist into a biweekly occurrence, and started The Daily Break section to emphasize a feel-good story everyday. National Geographic also began Your Weekly Escape, a newsletter that is free of any coronavirus related content.
Clearly, these outlets have noticed the amplified demand for good news and are matching it with an increased supply. Of course, the bulk of the headlines remain somewhat gloomy nowadays, but rather than fixate on them, these good news alternatives offer positive twists. This is not to say that readers ignore world’s struggles, but rather that they want to see how people are reacting to the crises in healthy, wholesome, and genuinely helpful ways.
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This embrace of good news, especially for the established publications, is an obvious spin to assuage readers. However, while spins in the media are usually traced back to politics, money, or hostility, this one is currently fueled by a desire to see kindness and generosity. Conventional “spins” are getting replaced by cartwheels or joy running up and down whatever good news stories are out there, laser-focusing on the glass half-full.
To make matters all the more soothing, many of these good news outlets are not-for-profit. While The Washington Post or National Geographic are still advertising alongside their uplifting stories, many of the Instagram accounts as well as John Krasinski’s broadcasts, are done entirely for free, making them in and of themselves, examples of good nature and good news.
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