People who work in newspapers, like other industries, have pet peeves. One that them some editors and veteran reporters have is a strong reaction to the comment that “the Daily News never writes anything positive about kids. All you do is print the negative.”
Usually when veteran reporters and editors hear that comment, they recognize the person is just repeating a stereotype. Moreover, the person is more than likely not a subscriber. When this comment is made in person, we usually ask the person to name the last negative thing they read about a young person. Sometimes the person can’t name a story or mentions one from several years back.
We will stand on our record. Every week throughout the entire year, the Daily News publishes a Youth page that is filled with nothing but positive news about the accomplishments of young people. This includes scholarships, honor rolls, student achievements, academic and speech competitions, among other things.
During the school year, the Daily News publishes its 20 Below page, which is filled with stories written by high school students. That may not be all good news, but it certainly gives young people a chance to let others know what is on their minds.
Once the pandemic goes away but even now, there are stories on our sports pages about the victories earned by local and area athletic teams. Feature stories detail how hard work and perseverance have helped an athlete earn playing time or contributed to a team’s success.
Speaking of pandemic, the Daily News has done stories about young people helping out in ways from making masks to raising money to helping others with loneliness during the pandemic.
Before graduations each year, the Daily News writes about an individual from each of the three Norfolk high schools and Northeast Community College, the Northeast Nursing College and Wayne State College. These are inspirational stories and good news about young people overcoming challenges or ways they plan to make the world better.
Throughout the year, the Daily News honors select high school students with most valuable student-athlete awards, the all-academic team, the athletes of the year and countless features on young people.
Rarely — unless it is a serious crime in which a youth gets charged in adult court — are negative stories about young people printed and individuals named. Very often, it appears that people tend to remember negative stories over positive ones, even if the positive stories outnumber the negative one by more than 20 to 1.
The bottom line is that we know the vast majority of people are alright. Why would kids be any different? And we think our choice of stories reflects that.