Friday, January 16, 2009

We Like Positivity. Really.

There’s a myth floating around out there, and it’s a nasty one.

It’s that reporters really like writing about negativity. That somehow, our adrenaline races because of another person’s misfortune.

Many of us like it to the extent that it’s part of our job description and that we’re fulfilling our duty by honestly and objectively reporting on events and decisions that affect a lot of people.

But to make the sweeping generalization that we actively await the “bad” story??

If that were the case, I would have jumping-jacked my way into the newsroom on a regular basis for at least the last year. Stock market plunged? Donuts for everybody! More foreclosures? Happy Hour’s on me!

Things didn’t go that way. Instead, myself and others at this newspaper had no choice but to let readers know about cost-cutters, layoffs and closed storefronts. With layoffs, in particular, it wasn’t easy discussing whether they’d receive severance packages and listening to their bosses confirm the unfortunate news. But the fact remains, reporting current events is what we do, regardless if we have a soft spot in hearts for the subjects or if we completely disagree with how a certain situation played itself out. It’s our responsibility, point blank.

That said, it’d be completely untrue to deny that it felt good to write a few, well, feel-good stories. Many of them involved parties wanting to provide hope and solutions for the recession.

I didn’t get to attend Lakeland Community College’s Jumpstart Networking Breakfast, but in talking to author Ted Janusz for the event’s preview story, I felt like the guy had a real chance to inspire the audience. He billed it, “Top Ten Ways to Recession-Proof Your Business,” so people naturally would come. Still, he planned to talk about time management, wisely investing and other topics that play the backseat to today’s woeful economics.

I felt even stronger about the group of twenty somethings who created Zolio, the multimedia, Web-based résumé builder. Nobody can predict these things, but their technology could eventually have the effect of a Facebook or Twitter, especially at a time when people need to better market themselves to potential employers.

The Willoughby Chamber of Commerce also recently made our pages. Their award winners seemed like kind-hearted people who found time to give back to their communities while keeping pace with the best of their industry. Particularly striking was John Fowle, who’s probably already upset that I haven’t mentioned his staff yet.

Seriously, in just the preliminary phone call and first couple minutes of the actual interview, the owner of the chamber’s Distinguished Business of the Year repeatedly said, “it’s not about me, it’s about them.” He was certainly believable and willing to share credit for Willoughby Hills Auto Repair’s success.

The “bad” stories will keep coming, no doubt, but so will the good ones. And guess what, we like those!

-- Brandon C. Baker

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Blogger Andria Trivisonno said...

Great post. I think that amongst the negativity surrouding today's market, there are still companies like Zolio who is implementing new technology and tools into the job search process. Employers are online more than ever looking for candidates who understand the social web and the role it has on recruitment.

Please take a minute to check out and let us know any feedback you have. Good luck!

Andria, Co-Founder

January 19, 2009 at 11:36 AM 

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