A Quest for Good

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Last month, I wrote about a run-in with a reporter that had ceased covering organizations doing good because there were too many to choose from. Since then, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the media, on a personal quest to find stories that do feature good in the news. I recently found an interesting example, thanks to our friends to the north, who have taken a very different approach to their reporting—they actually set out on a mission to find good. Last week, a team of Toronto Star reporters fanned out across the city to document everyday people being kind to each other. They started at midnight and continued around the clock, chronicling the random acts of kindness that they encountered for a full day. They found kindness everywhere they looked, leaving the team (and me) deeply moved. Here is the article: http://www.thestar.com/actsofkindness/article/741064--24-hours-of-kindness.

This story struck me for a couple of reasons:

1)      In a shrinking media environment, a large, daily newspaper dedicated a full 24 hours of staff time to cover this story. Eight reporters to be exact. Typically, breaking hard news would receive this type of round-the-clock coverage, maybe even something tied to a celebrity scandal or death, but never have I seen a news organization dedicate so many resources to cover such a story. If that is not a clear-cut example that there is room for (and demand for) good in the news, I really don’t know what would be.

2)      From my perspective as a reader, I was inspired by this moving testimonial to unsung heroes bettering their communities. Some of their stories are quite sobering (i.e. this is not your typical “feel good” story) but each serves as a reminder that there is good all around us, and sometimes in the least expected places. In a year where much of the news coverage has felt bleak, it was refreshing to see a story demonstrating the generous, compassionate actions of ordinary people, and their direct impact.

Hopefully, we’ll see more stories like this…not just at the holidays, but throughout 2010 and beyond.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season!