News agencies are powerful media – one of the most formidable. They can shape our worldview, and they often do.
But when it comes right down to it, all of them are selective. They have to be. There’s only so much space or time to highlight current events and breaking news.
The stuff that is often overlooked and underplayed, however, is good news, in almost every category.
Many have taken to the task of highlighting missed good news stories in 2017. Even former president Obama got into the action by tweeting his opinion last week.
Here are my top seven most overlooked or underreported good news stories of 2017, in no particular order of importance:
1) Does it get any more important than kids? Well, how’s this for a good news headline: There were roughly 135,000 children adopted in the U.S, according to the Adoption Network. Many of those were abandoned and abused.
How great is that number? Equal to the number of adoptions is the population of many midsized cities across America.
In a world where children are often discarded, it’s great news to know that at least that number of Americans also stepped up to the rescue plate and hit home runs by adopting them.
Although only 2 percent of Americans have adopted, more than one-third have considered it. Around 7 million Americans are adopted. Roughly 100 million Americans (one-third of our national population) have adoption in their immediate family.
Let’s hear it for the hearts and sacrifice of adoptive parents! And let’s not forget to celebrate life on National Sanctity of Life Day on Monday, Jan. 22.
2) The U.S. veteran homeless rate declined by 47 percent in the last seven years.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, there was a nearly 50 percent decline in veteran homelessness since 2010, cited by American Veterans Aid. The rate dropped by 16 percent alone from the previous January. Thanks to the renewed efforts of civilian and civic advocates and organizations who are helping our homeless heroes.
3) Israel solved the world drought problem.
It was in 2016 when the world learned that Israel had developed a pump that turns seawater into fresh water, providing drinking water for 1.5 million people. In 2017, the global community acknowledged this could be the answer to solve the world drought problems.
Though technology of reverse osmosis in desalination was pioneered in the 1960s by Israeli scientist Sidney Loeb at Ben-Gurion University, huge kudos belong to IDE Technologies, an international company ranked the world’s 19th smartest company in 2016 by MIT Technology Review. IDE built the three desalination plants along Israel’s coastline, and it now has 400 plants in 40 countries that provide 3 million cubic meters of daily potable water around the world.
In 2015, the largest plant in the Western Hemisphere was built in Carlsbad (San Diego), California, to help overcome the state’s decade-long drought. It now provides 54 million gallons of water a day for 300,000 Californians, and the plant generates about $50 million for the regional economy, according to Global Water Intelligence magazine and TheNextWeb.com.
Next stop: Santa Barbara, California!
4) NASA made several record-breaking accomplishments.
Astronaut Peggy Whitson set the record for most days in space by a U.S. astronaut back in April when she made history for remaining 534 days, two hours, 49 minutes and counting at the International Space Station.
Whitson returned to earth in September, and she should have been paraded down a major metropolis in the U.S. with all media focused upon her.
Many of us remember the glory days of NASA, when men like Neal Armstrong and Eugene Cernan (who died in Jan. 2017) ruled the world. It’s great to see women conquering space, too. Ten years ago, in 2008, Whitson also became the first woman to command the space station.
Space conquests and records used to be big news, and I think those days should return.
What about headlining, “NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew 800,000,000 miles (1,287,475,200 kilometers) to reach Jupiter,” which it did in July 2017?
Or what about “NASA discovered TRAPPIST-11, a solar system with seven Earth-like planets,” which it did in February 2017?
Or even, “NASA and Uber join forces to develop flying taxis,” which they hope to have by 2020 in Los Angeles and Dallas.
5) President Trump’s administration has led 170 notable accomplishments in the first year.
While mainstream media has daily berated president Trump, WND reported on a positive list of his 170 accomplishments in 2017, giving one of the most comprehensive compilations of first-year achievements. I wonder how many Americans could name even seven accomplishments of the White House, thanks to the negative press.
Despite our political persuasion or preferences for a president, the least that mainstream media can do is report an equal ratio of Washington’s accomplishments. How else will average Americans hear about them? How else can we turn the tide of record low sentiment about those who occupy seats of power in our national capital?
Thank President Trump for all his accomplishments during his first year in office. Send him a FREE card of your choice. Go to ThankTrump.us
6) Thousands of average people risked and sacrificed their lives to save perfect strangers – including animals – during multiple hurricanes and natural disasters.
The U.S. and adjacent world experienced three horrifically devastating hurricanes in 2017. While each captivated the news, it seemed like within a week or two after each blew threw that most media spun them from their news cycles, and then returned to their regurgitating thematic news preferences.
I know a dozen heroic stories were highlighted in the news during each of hurricanes, but there were thousands overlooked. And I think the world would become a lot more heroic if we reported on more of our heroes. Here are 20 more valiant volunteers from those natural disasters – most of whom are still at work – that will inspire your new year.
And what about those record-breaking fires out West? How many know about the volunteer crews – many first responders and law enforcement from outside the infernos – who hit the front lines to save precious animals?
7) Speaking of heroes, I’m glad to report in this last calendar year there were fewer law enforcement officers killed than in 50 previous years. That may not feel like good news, but it really is.
Craig Floyd, president and chief executive of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, explained to USA Today: “This is one of those good-news, bad-news situations. On one hand, you had 128 officers who made the ultimate sacrifice, showing the cost of public safety, but for the first time since 2013, the number of deaths has actually declined.”
Truth is, one officer killed is one too many, but one fewer killed is awesome news. In a year when too much mainstream media news focused upon a few bad apples, overlooked were the hundreds of thousands across our country who risk life and limb every day for law and justice. We salute all of those domestic soldiers!
Now, just think if you finished every news broadcast or edition thinking and feeling as you are right now after reading my top seven overlooked and underreported good news stories of 2017.
As we turn to a new year, I would challenge all our media outlets to ante up the positive stories. Despite the fact that our minds are geared to the negative and noticing gaps and omissions, maybe we can fight a little harder to digest positive news, too. We know our country and world would be a lot better off if we all focused even a little more on the positive.
Speak of enriching foci, here are two inspiring thoughts for your new year:
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
And lastly, Benjamin Franklin advised, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”