Editor’s Scratchpad

Thursday, June 14, 2001

Good news to one reader
is bad to another

A common lament among newspaper readers contends: "You only print bad news."

Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that things going well are considered to be normal and thus don't make today different from yesterday, which is what news is about. Things going badly and taking unexpected turns do make today different from yesterday.

Perhaps more to the point, whether news is good or bad is more in the eye of the reader than in the fingers of the writer. Take the headline on the front of Wednesday's Star-Bulletin: "Panel to launch Felix probe." If you are the parent of a disabled child and have been dissatisfied with the education of your child, that headline is probably good news. If you are the principal of a school that has been shirking its duties in special education, that headline is not likely to warm your heart.

--Richard Halloran

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