Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Now, for the good news

Tired of reading only gloom and doom on your favorite internet news sites? Looking for an alternative filled with stories that – with any luck – will brighten your day and reawaken your faith in humankind? Perhaps Happynews.com is the antidote. I first heard about this site from the last episode of “On the Media.” It is just what it sounds like: A collection of the more upbeat, positive and smile-producing stories of the day. Launched last month, it’s a mixture of wire copy – including a lot from UPI, the waning step-cousin of AP and Reuters – as well as dispatches from “citizen journalists.” But “happy” doesn’t necessarily mean nothing related to war, as one story about an Al-Qaida terrorist being killed proves. As founder Byron Reese – the CEO of PageWise, a little-known online content provider – explained to Bob Garfield, even though this is about someone’s death, it’s a death that he and his staff thought most readers of the site would be happy about. Other recent headlines include: “Apology for Czechoslovakian invasion,” “NYC remembers compassion,” and “Greenspan portraits going like hotcakes.” The bread-and-butter of this site appears to be those near-miss stories: One child survives a fall, another escapes a lightning strike … There’s even a category called “Heroes.” Oh, and if you’re tired of all this sugary sweetness, you can always return to your regular diet of “Unhappy News” by clicking on the links to CNN or BBC on the left-hand side.

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