Hunger for ‘good news’ grows as pandemic woes deepen

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by Thomas Urbain

Battered by grim headlines, horrifying statistics and deep uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, many people worldwide are trying to lift their spirits by seeking out “good news.”

Sites specializing in upbeat news have seen a surge in growth in recent weeks. And Google searches for “good news” have jumped fivefold since the start of the year.

The Good News Network, created in the late 1990s, has seen traffic triple in the past month with more than 10 million visitors, according to founder and editor Geri Weis-Corbley.

“People are sending us links of positive, inspiring things happening in their neighborhoods, in their cities, in their states, so we have so much good news to pass along,” said Weis-Corbley, who also observed spikes in interest after the September 11 attacks and the global financial crisis of a decade ago.

“We think that people now are experiencing a yearning for good news that will continue.”

Other websites including The Guardian, Fox News, HuffPost, MSN and Yahoo have their own pages dedicated to uplifting stories.

A CNN newsletter, “The Good Stuff,” created last year, has seen a 50 percent jump in subscriptions over the past month, a network spokesperson said.

“Our editorial team saw growing interest in the stories that made our audience smile, with fascinating discoveries, everyday heroes, inspiring movements and great things happening all over the world,” the spokesperson said.

Actor John Krasinski joined the effort with his own weekly YouTube video show, “Some Good News,” from March 29, which mimics a traditional news broadcast, but focusing on uplifting stories.

Krasinski’s videos offer a mix of tributes to pandemic “health heroes” and celebrity appearances including from his actress wife Emily Blunt, and got 15 million views for its first episode. (AFP)

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