With all the turmoil in the stock markets recently it has been easy to lose sight of what’s really important in news. For instance, the recent economic stimulus package, and how it will help the middle class, or the fact that the consumer price index is finally back on the decline and we aren’t just watching a market bubble come and go. The bad news, however, is that no such good news came out of all of this, and that is just the beginning. Now that we’ve had some time to digest all the data and think about what it means it is time to get down to business and figure out what news we should be paying attention to and what we should be ignoring. Well, there is plenty to consider in this regard.
For instance, some people are saying that the recent string of bad news stories makes national news and therefore the U.S. doesn’t need to worry about their economy. To hear someone state this is proof that we should stop worrying about the economy, and instead give more focus to making sure the rest of the world is doing well. I’d argue that if we were getting global news like Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Iran having a nuclear bomb then we would certainly make news. However, the fact that the U.S. doesn’t make any national news at all, and that global news is now filled with stories about hurricanes in India and severe weather in the U.S., South Africa, and elsewhere is not proof that our economy is doing great. In fact, it is proof that someone has to pick up the pieces and make sure that the world’s nations don’t continue to suffer, and economic confidence doesn’t crumble further than it already has in parts of the globe.
This brings us to another news story idea that seems to be gaining in popularity: interviewing citizens from all over the country and asking them about their lives and what is happening in their lives. Often, what comes out of such an investigation is a fascinating human interest piece that showcases something unique or interesting about each community. This is newsworthy for many different reasons. It gives a voice to those that might otherwise be voiceless, and it helps to show how vital community engagement can be. Whether it is an environmental piece about pollution in China or a look at an unusual medical situation in Oklahoma, a news story can act as a springboard for an interesting study, and perhaps the next big breakthrough.