Human interest stories these days are becoming hard to find in print, observes Grumpy Editor.
There was a time when such stories were scattered throughout newspapers. Human interest pieces focus on people, even animals, in an emotional way, leading to sympathy or motivation in readers.
Such was the case --- or actually two similar cases in different cities --- last week when young girls set up lemonade stands to raise money for police.
In Dallas, four girls, ages 8 to 12, set up a lemonade stand that raised an amazing $10,000 in two days in the wake of five policeman killed and seven injured by a lone gunman.
At the same time in a St. Louis suburb, 10 children organized a lemonade stand to raise funds for a police officer in critical but stable condition after being shot from behind by a man he stopped for speeding.
The youngsters hoped to raise about $20 but ended the day with $4,000 for the policeman’s family. The activity attracted several police and fire officials who came to the stand to lend support.
Meanwhile, also not getting play (for obvious reasons) in media was a Rasmussen Reports survey that found “Americans strongly believe the media is emphasizing shootings by police officers involving black suspects over ones in which whites are shot and that media coverage is prompting attacks on police.”
The survey tallied 62 percent of Americans felt media coverage of shootings by police officers inspires people to attack police while 22 percent disagree and another 16 percent are not sure.
Rasmussen added, “Only 34 percent of Americans believe there are more police shootings in America today."
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
Despite what some in media reported, Donald Trump did not use a teleprompter at Saturday’s session introducing Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. The event was widely covered by over-the-air and cable news networks --- except for NBC-TV which went for golf coverage of the 2016 Open Championship, teaming with the Golf Channel in providing 10 hours of live action.
Air pollution remains top news (since way back in 1945) in Los Angeles where the mayor appointed a panel that will study how to reduce emissions at the city’s huge port facilities which the Los Angeles Times reminded “supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, but it also represents the largest source of air pollution in Southern California.”
As some experts have mentioned over the past year: the electric grid in the U.S. could go dark at any time. The Wall Street Journal reinforced that in reporting security at electrical substations is so bad, almost anyone can break in unnoticed and create enough damage to take down huge portions of the grid.
Headline writers face sensitive times. Even an accurate headline triggered protests. The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, apologized after protestors complained about a headline --- Gunman Targeted Whites --- in the wake of the deadly police shooting in Dallas. Protestors soon gathered outside the newspaper’s office in downtown Memphis to express displeasure, some holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter.” Newspaper president George Cogswell, said the headline, “although not inaccurate, was very insensitive to the movement and we recognized that quickly."
Headline over a Los Angeles Times story, based on its own poll: As Clinton stumbles, Trump takes an apparent slim lead in new tracking poll. Apparent? The newspaper probably was shocked by its own findings that Trump led Clinton 43 percent to 40 percent.
Where the jobs are: Supporters of a Nevada ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana said the industry could support 3,300 direct jobs once it’s in full swing in 2024
“It’s stretching it a bit but, hey, we found another one,” a breaking news editor probably said after pushing to get this headline on the web: Man shot by police in Rotorua, New Zealand.
The only shooting in Rotorua, a quiet area, usually is from its geysers, along with other attractions, including bubbling mud pools and natural hot springs.