Edit desk: @Google, where is the love?


Sam Silverman

For my final edit desk, I wanted to write about something happy. I wanted to talk about the positive aspects of a world that sometimes seems abysmal.

In an effort to find my “happy” topic to write about I started with a simple Google search: Good people in the world.

To my surprise, the search engine provided me not with a list of good people, but a list of people who have changed the world. Among this list appeared spiritual leaders, presidents and Adolf Hitler.

Seeing this list made me think. According to Google, “good people” connotes people who create change. From this list, it seems one must be a leader to create change.

Although we view Google as the almighty G-d, I firmly disagree with its assertion. For someone to be a good person, they don’t necessarily have to be a great person or a leader.

Additionally, I️ noticed my Google search provided me with historical figures that have changed the world, not people from today.

My search read that Martin Luther King Jr. was the father of civil rights. While this is true, what about the everyday people who do kind things? How about the kid who defended his friend from being bullied, or the people who donate their time to charity? What about them, Google?

There are so many amazing people in this world, but unfortunately, they get overshadowed by the cruelties in our society. Tragedies have become synonymous with news, and as an aspiring journalist, I’m not okay with this.

Take today’s climate. As I scroll through the top stories on Apple News, not one story is uplifting and thought-provoking. Instead, they focus on shooters, foreign threats and Stormy Daniels.

The late-night news highlights mass shootings, child abuse and political chaos, yet fails to mention the everyday strides toward greater technology and the millions of people who help build society up as opposed to breaking it down.

In a world faced with many hardships, it is important to have “soft news.”

Soft news is criticized for not being hard-hitting and sometimes silly.

But people need to see success stories and profiles on incredible individuals featured on the front covers of newspapers — not always mass shootings and political mayhem.

We are taught to be unbiased, to not show our opinions in our stories, though I think at some points it is important for the reporter to remind everyone that the horrible incident being reported is one in a million, and people should not live in fear but in caution and in hope of a better tomorrow.

We need happy news to make us see that the world is not tragic and that the simple things in life hold us together — not the leaders who are so focused on unity they tear us apart.

It’s forgotten that there are good people and uplifting events to report on.

I’m tired of hearing what crazy thing our leaders are fighting about on Twitter.

I think a more original or newsworthy story would be about how people in our world get along.

We are taught that “if it bleeds it leads,” but the harsh reality is that when so many misfortunes are publicized, they are no longer original. We become desensitized — robotic even.

To combat our cold exterior, the answer isn’t more blood, but more love. Stories of success give hope and promise to readers, where reporting on cruel incidents leaves people living in constant fear.

By no means am I saying we shouldn’t report on unfortunate events. I think it is necessary to report on them so people stay informed and learn. But I am advocating for a balance between incidents of horror and events of triumph and smiles.

It is unfortunate we live in a world that hosts so much negativity. I understand these events are widely reported on because they are so plentiful, but we should not harp on the negative. We must remember there is also so much good in the world to appreciate.

It is our job as reporters to look beyond the “if it bleeds, it leads” model and find people with genuine talent and accomplishments to report on. Changing a somber society starts with us, and as I conclude my senior year, I am up to the task.

I want to write about powerful individuals and good people.
I want to write about victories and triumphs.
I want to write about uplifting moments.

If I wrote it, would you read it?

Samantha Silverman, ’18, is a lifestyle designer for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]

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