Stop the Bleeding

by Shawn Paul Wood

There is a mantra in newsrooms across the country that often goes unsaid, but typically is unavoidable, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

There is a reason why those same nestling hubs of action are full of police scanners and not Disney movies – good news does not attract ratings.

Car wrecks, drug busts, City Hall squabbles and who’s doing well on American Idol. Now that’s entertainment… and depressing, which is one of the many reasons we see esteemed reporters racing to the PR side of the tracks.

However, from the “It’s about time” department is an article from PR Week showing a sudden new trend in the news – networks asking for “feel-good story pitches.”

You know Armageddon is upon us when assignment editors are pleading with the public to send them tips on Girl Scout bake sales, new puppies for adoption and anonymous donors paying some old lady’s bills. Granted, these pitches will need to possess a tie to the depressing stuff, like the economy, but it’s a start for hemophiliac news networks, right?

Maybe the next overnight subject matter expert will hail from the corner office of the “Random Acts of Kindness” Foundation? Stranger things have happened.

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