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My least favorite complaint we receive about our paper or media outlets in general is that readers are tired of seeing all of the bad news. Countless times I’ve heard, “All you see in that paper/on that TV station is crime, murder and abuse.”
Well, please don’t be offended, but if that truly is all you see, you’re simply not looking close enough.
Let’s examine this week’s front page — we’ve got stories about an unsolved murder, multiple meth labs found in the county, an accident involving a school bus and the probability of water rates going up in the next fiscal year.
I’ll admit, the only good you’ll find in all that would have to be extracted with a magnifying glass and squinted eyes.
However, if you look past that page, you’ll find a lot more good than bad.
I won’t insult your intelligence and tell you everything page by page, but just inside the front cover, you’ll find important information about Relay for Life and community announcements.
I beg you, dig a little deeper and you’ll find photo pages from Taylorsville Elementary School’s Spring Fling, a balloon launch and dozens of cute preschool faces, and Kentucky’s own Turtle Man who made an appearance at a fundraiser for local families. By my count, those are all “good things.”
And that’s not even counting the church page, the agriculture page, the At Home page and our newest addition, the Back in Time page.
“Sure,” you’re probably thinking. “But why not put some of those things on the front page? Because you’re just trying to sell newspapers?”
Yes. Yes, we are trying to sell newspapers. Ours is a business just like any other. We have to sell our product, and we do our darnedest each week to produce a high-quality product you can’t wait to spend your money on.
And to those of you who say you’d buy the paper more if those good things made their way to the front page, I’m doing everything I can not to say you’re lying.
Years of data, research and analysis would tell you the same thing we keep track of on a laminated calendar in our office — hard news (that’s all the crime and bad stuff) sells.
We do put “good news” on the front when we have stories we think the whole community would enjoy — for instance, the boys’ basketball team’s phenomenal run during the 2010-11 season. You’d think that everyone who bleeds Spencer County blue would pick up a copy of that issue.
It didn’t happen.
Unfortunately — because writing about wrecks and crimes isn’t exactly our favorite thing to do, either — our best selling issues are about murders, terrible accidents and indictments handed down to public officials.
Because those things affect you, too, we cover them and we put them on the front page.
But week after week, if you’ll only look inside, you’ll see that our paper is still full of good news.