It will take some time, perhaps 20 or more years, for the people of world to learn whether today's news media have been successful in meeting the enormous challenge facing them.
I am not referring to the daily news reporting we're now receiving, nor am I referring to timely opinions about the major events happening around the world, and certainly not to what is typical news in 2023, which seems obsessed with the dark and the ugly.
The challenge before today's media is to report the Good News, and to do so so very well that most everybody reads it, sees it and hears it.
Good people are currently doing mighty good deeds wherever there is a significant population, whether in a poor country or a wealthy one, whether in a peaceful community or one brutalized by war and widespread violence.
Singularly, each good deed cannot be said to stand out or tell us very much. But collectively, they tell us how we must deal with the major issues through which societies are struggling, like mass killings, horrific natural tragedies, and war itself.
Good people set our example. They inform us all how to live; how to find meaning even if we are, so to speak, "nobodies," not well-known or wealthy, that is.
Our news media have too often missed the point. Sure, from time to time, they pick up some nice thing done by one neighbor to another as though they are seeking to avert the monotony of always reporting what is bad.
Unfortunately, today our news outlets are obviously obsessed with the bad. So, little wonder there is that young men feel unwanted and useless; or, as I read today, that one in three teen-aged girls have seriously considered suicide.
What if it were otherwise, as it should be? That 90% of our news be about decent people doing decent things, of all ages and in all walks of life?
We need to hear about the young men who are not good students or great athletes, but who have made sure that have something useful to do with their individual talents, like paint, repair cars, build fences, clean up the dirty parts of our cities and towns.
And we need to hear a lot more about the young women who are pleased with themselves and their bodies, who may be a little pudgy but can paint or draw or do beautiful things.
And there's much more; many of our churches are actually feeding the poor and comforting the lonely and the sick. There is outstanding teaching going on in our public and private schools.
And believe it or not, there are schools and other institutions working hard to create new possibilities for living a fruitful and rewarding life.
Let's not overlook any longer the successful marriages and friendships, in which children are happy and growing daily in wisdom and in stature.
Writers, journalists, reporters, analysts, talented broadcasters, "Please! Please! Please! Tell us the Good news! We need you to succeed."
Andrew L. Pate, Jr.. 14 February 2014
Buried in recent news, not in mainstream publications, are the kind of headlines that we should see all over the place.
Mom of 4 who started medical school in her 40s says it’s never too late to follow dreams
Teen jumps into icy lake to rescue 83-year-old man and dog trapped in Jeep
Los Angeles Church community reaches out to homeless
How to Help Low-Income Students Succeed
My copied heading below, not that of the NYT's itself