Tallying the news from the past year

December 26, 2009 05:00 am

The Curry Coastal Pilot continues a New Year’s week tradition next Wednesday with the publication of the annual “Year in Review” special section. Preparing the section prompted two interesting thoughts.

First, there are dozens of firms that have proudly joined this year’s “parade of businesses.” They are lined up by their length of service to the community, and their advertisements serve as announcements that they plan to continue in business through the coming year. Yes, some firms have fallen by the wayside in the economic turmoil of the past year, but others have joined the march in a real sign of optimism about the future.

Their advertisements in the “Year in Review” section provide space for the Pilot to replay the major headlines from front pages of the past 104 issues.

We were nearly through when we decided to do an informal tally of what type of news makes the most headlines. We often hear accusations that we emphasize the bad news. We also know that our Web site counts on “bad news” stories are extremely higher than anything beside the weather. Here’s a perfect chance to do an actual count.

Bruins win state championship tallied as good news. Crime stories were bad. But is the story of a rescue bad news – someone got stuck – or good news because they were unharmed? It wasn’t long before we had a third “neutral” category for political debates, planning decisions and changes in local government, which can be good or bad depending on your viewpoint.

Everyone’s count is going to be different, but here’s our rough score for major headlines from January through November: Good news, 46; bad news, 30; and neutral 28. You can try your own count on Wednesday.

So the second thought prompted by “Year in Review” is that the Pilot tries to present information that is important and interesting to a broad range of readers – good, bad and otherwise.