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Beyond Puppies, A Push For Positive Stories In Today's Media Coverage


With David Folkenflik

Does the 24/7 news cycle need a dose of positivity? We look at the push for coverage of good news.

Looking for stories of good? Look no further than WBUR’s Kind World — a podcast how a single act of kindness can change our lives.


David Beard, founder of The Optimist newsletter at the Washington Post. He also writes for the Recharge newsletter of Mother Jones. Former foreign correspondent and digital editor with the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and Public Radio International. (@dabeard)

Gail Rosenblum, editor of the Inspired section at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. (@grosenblum)

Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor-in-chief of Good Black News. Film and television writer and producer. (@LakinHutcherson)

From The Reading List

Poynter: “Turning to ‘good news’ in troubled times: How two journalists took charge” — “Depressed by social media feeds? Overwhelmed by the sheer weight of sky-falling-down stories and the volume of rancor?

“Change it. Make it better, balance it out, help your friends, says Erin Ruberry, a former Huffington Post and Discovery Communications journalist who puts out ‘In Better News,’ a daily newsletter of good news.

“‘I make a really conscious choice on what I’m going to put on my feed,’ Ruberry says. ‘There are so many places for outrage, and I don’t want to do that.’

“New York Times journalist Desiree Shoe agrees — and like Ruberry, she has done something about it. In early December, the London-based homepage editor began the Times’ ‘This Week in Good News’ roundup, a mix of the news organization’s brightest stories.

“While some human interest (and international) stories have been squeezed out of news outlets dominated by the deluge of Washington news, Ruberry and Shoe have found opportunity in bucking the trend. Ruberry has created a newsletter community and built her social followers offering hope — and now she’s getting tips and check-ins from readers that help propel her through the day.”

Star Tribune: “‘Cabin Cooperative’ idea mixes affordable housing with Minnesota culture” — “Luke Nichols’ first year at the University of Minnesota was ‘glorious.’ While his courses were stimulating, that high praise was reserved for something else. For Nichols, college meant a warm bed, hot meals and a dorm room where he could safely store his stuff. Nichols, 29, earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences and graduated last May with a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the U’s College of Design. His passion is housing instability, because ‘you just never know who’ will be caught in its grip. Now a design associate with Minneapolis’ Travis Van Liere Studio, he shares his hope of bringing his capstone project, the Cabin Cooperative, to life.”

Good Black News: “Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY to Open Independent Movie Theater, Offer Grants For Film Festivals” — “According to Tambay Obenson‘s article on, filmmaker Ava DuVernay‘s distribution company ARRAY is building a state-of-the-art, 50-set movie theater, which will be able to screen independent movies as well as be available for rental. To quote the article:

“‘Located west of downtown Los Angeles — a part of the city that doesn’t house many media moguls — it’s also the area’s only independent theater. And it comes at a time when exhibitors are apoplectic over the impact of Netflix and other major streaming companies.

“‘ARRAY VP Tilane Jones said that’s one reason they chose to open it. “It’s really a labor of love, which is all driven by a desire to be in service of people,” Jones said. “Our filmmakers and our audience.” ‘ ”

Hilary McQuilkin produced this hour for broadcast.

This article was originally published on

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