We’ve had good news to report lately.
This year’s Frances Young Community Heroes award recipients were honored on this page in the past week or so; on five different days it featured an individual profile of each one’s commitment to the Scottsdale community through noteworthy volunteering.
And on Thursday, a group photo of the five recipients, wearing medals given to them at a breakfast Wednesday cosponsored by the Tribune, appeared on this page as well.
Chances are, though, that most of us won’t remember these honorees as well as we will so-called “bad news.” It’s part of the reason why some people say they don’t like to read newspapers or watch local television news.
Jon Du Pre, anchor and reporter for the Tribune’s broadcast partner, KNXV-TV (Channel 15), reminded me of this issue we in the news media often face. Du Pre, master of ceremonies of Wednesday’s breakfast, told the gathering how he wished he had a nickel for every time someone asked him why reporters don’t report good news.
Actually, we do, much more than most people think. But the fact is, bad news sticks with us longer than good, so on any given day the perception is that newspapers only have, or mostly contain, disquieting stuff.
Obviously, there’s room in one’s brain for both big national bad news like the plane-crash death of Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and for big local good news like the five Scottsdale people making a difference in the lives of others. We don’t need to choose which is the more important story. Both are, for different reasons.
So this isn’t a what’s-moreimportant-to-you quiz. Yet in a week, odds are that most of us will still remember the plane crash and the tragic end to the lives of Lidle and his flight instructor. Fewer will remember that on the same day Scottsdale paid tribute to its volunteers. It’s just human nature.
I’ve known Frances Young for many years; her daughter Geri and I were in the same high school class here in Scottsdale. Wednesday’s awards program listed Frances’ greatest achievements here: starting the Vista del Camino Community Center and local schools’ English as a Second Language programs as well as creating Scottsdale Cares, which allows city utility customers to donate to a fund that gives more than $220,000 each year to area nonprofit organizations.
Now in her 80s and less robust but still with a strong voice, she still is advocating for those in need of education or social services.
The bad news comes and goes, usually. What’s so worthy about the good news is that, usually, it goes on. Like Frances Young. And like all the local people who each year are honored in her name.