Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Charlene Smith
Pine Bluffs Post staff 

A 'Little Good News'


Remember that old tune from Anne Murray, “Little Good News?” Back in 1983 it hit the number one spot on the country charts and was in the top 50 of the pop chart way before cross-over music was as common as reality shows.

The lyrics talked about fighting in Lebanon, bad economy, and “one more sad story's one more than I can stand.” The song goes on to say how she would like to have the papers say “not much to print today, can't find nothin' bad to say.”

I started in the print business a year ago this week and have somehow found something to say most weeks, good and bad. I was naive, thinking every story I was told to cover would be good, if not positive. Not even the most optimistic person can spin the words on poverty, abuse or murder into something you would read to your children at night.

The news we cover at the Pine Bluffs Post rarely gets worse than water lines bursting, trucks blocking the interstate, or electricity lost, but that's not to say bad news doesn't hit each one of us every day. Whether the morning news talks about it or the paper prints it, there is no stopping it.

The news, good and bad, helps to answer the public's questions. What happened? To whom? When and where? And what is being done about it?

Everyone has unanswered questions. Sometimes you know the answer and don't need to ask. Sometimes you fear the answer, and sometimes you fear the source.

Helen Thomas, who passed away the end of July, was a spry reporter that followed every president since John F. Kennedy, 10 in all. No other media correspondent for the White House has come close to Thomas's longevity and devotion to the briefing room. She was an inspiration to many, including me.

Initially tasked with following Jacklyn Kennedy for “fashion” stories, her editor and the world would soon learn she wanted more than bling in her reporting. She wanted the news.

Even if the story was Caroline Kennedy's hamster dying. She got the scoop after calling White House press secretary at 3 a.m. to confirm the death.

Thomas understood showing up was half the battle. She took much pride in being able to walk up the winding driveway and into the White House. The walk seemed to return a sense of awe to her for the “flawed humans just passing through” that she covered inside. But that awe was kept in check for the unabashed reporter when it came to the tough questions. And she encouraged young women that whatever was worth having was worth fighting for.

To get the news, good or bad, you need to come early and stay late. To absorb the news, you sometimes need to come early to comfort or celebrate, and stay late to clean up or plan the next steps.

No matter how early I get there or late I stay, I doubt I will ever break the “big one,” a huge story from our area that is worthy of the Associated Press picking it up. However, I do enjoy the hamster stories; town festivals, high school sports and other feel good news in our area. I enjoy living where we are perhaps not isolated but certainly buffered from bad news by the friends, family and neighbors that keep us close.

So, while I can't promise “a little good news today,” or any day, I can promise to help you with the answers to the tough questions. And hopefully help you ask a few more.

“And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA...we sure could use a little good news today.”


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