2017-12-31 / Editorial

Good news, everyone! We report it twice a week

We’ve received Sound Off calls and Letters to the Editor lately telling us that The County Press has too much bad news, or conversely, not enough good news. Some callers and writers tell us they are tired of reading about (pick one) medical marijuana, wind turbines, the Judge Konschuh-related court cases or opioids.

We understand. We’d just as soon house fires and car accidents never occurred in Lapeer County and then we’d never have to write about them. We’d be happy, too, if there was not an epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse taking lives in Lapeer County. We know that sick feeling brought on by seeing a headline in the paper about our public officials fighting in public.

But avoiding bad news does not mean it didn’t happen and will not undo nor diminish its impact on our community or on our own family. What you don’t know can hurt you.

We take no pleasure in reporting on the misfortunes and tragedies of others. But sometimes good things can happen as a result of that reporting – bad guys get caught, families in need get support from the community or a traffic light is placed at a dangerous intersection when readers are informed and react to those stories.

When it comes to stories about medical marijuana, wind turbines and a judge suing the county, it is simply our duty to report what our elected and appointed local government officials are doing. We’d ask our readers, please don’t shoot the messenger. But please do pay attention, because those officials work for you and you deserve to know what they are doing.

We understand the criticism that comes with reporting bad news. And, really, those comments cause us to take a look at what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Can we be more sensitive to the family who lost everything they own in a fire? Can we find a better way to communicate the latest developments in a story that’s been going on for months or maybe years? We appreciate the feedback and use it to make a better newspaper.

The comments that really sting though are those saying we don’t have enough — or any — good news. We agree there’s no downside to reporting on good people doing good things. While we may not get to as many of those stories as we’d like, we think we get to a good many of them. They don’t always make the front page, but look inside your County Press and you’ll find them.

Every Sunday and Wednesday we run a full page “Community View” photo story feature. Often the Community View will feature local charity and non-profit groups or students or civic events. Wednesday’s Community View page was full of photos of Lapeer Community Schools students at work on their Rube Goldberg machine at the district’s Center for Innovation. Last Sunday’s Community View page featured members of the Lapeer County Deputies Association, through their Shop with a Cop program, spending time and money with kids whose families wouldn’t otherwise have a very Merry Christmas. That was one of many stories we published in the past several weeks about people helping people through the holidays.

Our good news stories are not limited to one designated page in each edition. We routinely report on good people doing good things for local charities and non-profits at their fundraisers and as they serve the community.

We report on arts, entertainment and culture in our communities – art exhibits, plays, concerts, and events at our local libraries.

We regularly report on local students’ achievements in robotics, STEM, drama, agriculture and art. Speaking of student achievement, we think nearly our entire sports section can be considered good news. Sure, the home team may not always win, but we document and recognize the effort and teamwork of our student athletes.

We find a lot of good news to report from our local businesses. We report on our chambers of commerce and DDA events and efforts of those organizations to improve our communities and boost our local businesses. We cover the ribbon cuttings and grand openings and plant expansions of our growing business community. We feature a local ag business success story each Wednesday in our Ag Today section.

Our columnists are a source of good news. Every other Sunday our Alex Petrie profiles an interesting Lapeer County citizen in his “Mugshot” column. Our Wednesday “Lapeer Memories” columnist, Doris Burke, reminiscences are usually the happy kind. Check our Wednesday Side Roads column for documentation of random acts of kindness reported from around the county.

We think we do a good job with good news but we know, with our readers help, we can always do better. If you know of a good news story that we may be missing, please let us know. We’ll give you credit for the lead, too. Our contact information is at the top of this page.

We’re looking forward to telling your good news stories in 2018. Happy New Year!

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