I'm delighted to announce the launch of HuffPost Good News, a new section that will shine a much-needed spotlight on what's inspiring, what's positive, what's working -- and what's missing from what most of the media chooses to cover.
Everywhere around the country, people and communities are doing amazing things, overcoming great odds, and facing real challenges with perseverance, creativity and grace. But these stories are rarely told online, in newspapers, and on TV (especially if you live in a primary state being bombarded with negative attack ads). HuffPost Good News will be using a variety of storytelling tools to bridge the wide gap that separates the world as it is from the world as portrayed by the bulk of the media.
These stories of real people and their countless acts of empathy and ingenuity are overshadowed not only by actual crises -- and sadly, there are plenty -- but, more often, by the various manufactured crises sucking up precious media oxygen, from the deadline-pushing theatrics of debt ceiling debates and government shutdowns to the Balloon Boys, Casey Anthonys and Koran-burning pastors of the world. The excuse often given by the media is that these stories are "what the public wants." Well, we don't believe that, and HuffPost Good News will be our answer, and challenge, to that cynicism.
I've long said that those of us in the media have provided too many autopsies of what went wrong and not enough biopsies. It's a belief that goes hand-in-hand with HuffPost Good News' editorial mission to turn our attention to what is working.
This approach has always been a fundamental part of HuffPost's DNA, from our Impact section and our "Greatest Person of the Day" feature to our extensive coverage of the ways technology is making the world a better place, as well as our emphasis on the need to unplug and recharge.
In 2010, when I was writing my book Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream, I encountered surprising amounts of good news. As the title suggests, the book details many of the structural problems and challenges we're facing, but in the course of my travels around the country researching it, I had the chance to meet many people who bolstered my faith in our collective ability to confront those challenges. In fact, I devoted the book's final section to their stories. (At readings and book signings, I can occasionally be heard telling people to skip the diagnosis in the first four sections and go straight to the section on solutions. Now I'll be telling them to check out HuffPost Good News as well.)
HuffPost Good News kicks off today by revisiting some of the greatest good news stories HuffPost has featured in the past year, dropping in on the people who inspired us and asking, "where are they now?" Like Sarah Churman, the 29-year-old deaf woman who heard her own voice for the first time with the help of a hearing implant -- and whose video of the experience captivated millions.
And all this week, we're highlighting inspiring stories from each of our HuffPost local sections -- starting today with Los Angeles -- ranging from Q&As with local figures to heartwarming glimpses of good news in communities and neighborhoods across the country. And be sure to check out our slideshows featuring good news across a range of subjects, from inspiring animal rescuers -- like the man who rescued stray puppies from a ditch in Afghanistan and found a home for them in Canada -- to a compilation of our "Greatest Person of the Day" stories.
Good News will feature HuffPost's signature group blog, and our lineup of bloggers starts with Desmond Tutu, who movingly recalls the struggle to end apartheid: "We were always upheld and strengthened by the good news of those whose actions reminded us that we are each God's partners in a love and justice that includes all." There's Deepak Chopra, who takes a glass-half-full approach to some of the world's most devastating crises with an eye toward identifying solutions; Soleil Moon Frye, on good news out of Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake two years ago today; and an exclusive video and post from Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on how art can spur environmental activism.
Good News will be featuring inspiring stories that originate on HuffPost and will also be connecting our readers with the most uplifting material from elsewhere on the web. We will be tapping into good news everywhere through partnerships with GOOD magazine, Daily Good, Ode magazine, Gimundo and The Daily Love.
So check out HuffPost Good News. Here's hoping it sets off copycat acts of good news reporting across the media. Please use the comment section to point us toward the good news we're missing and, as always, let us know what you think.