Steve's Blog: Long Beach summer campers inspired this reporter

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - I found myself inspired this week by a group of sweaty teenagers in Long Beach. They were participants in a summer camp at First United Methodist Church.

These young people were spending the week at work; doing various clean-up or repair jobs at homes around the community.

They came from congregations throughout Mississippi (and one from Jackson, Ohio) to take part in a summer mission camp called MOSAIC. It stands for "Making Our Souls Alive In Christ."

When I visited these young people, they were busy tearing down a dilapidated shed and painting a historic home. Divided into nine work teams, they were doing a variety of projects at 20 different houses during the week.

The morning I shot the story, it was sweltering; felt like 90 plus degrees. But these hard working teens were not complaining. In fact, quite the opposite. They approached their work with zeal. They were enjoying each others company and enjoyed getting to know the various home owners.

I found myself envious of their abundant energy and youthful spirit.

One of the most common complaints I hear about the media is this: You never do any good news stories; it's always crime and other negative things.

Despite the fact that I hear that concern voiced the most, the fact is it's not true.

I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who think we in the media are liberal cynics who do nothing but sit around and think about "bad news" to report.

The story with these ambitious, hard working teenagers in Long Beach is just one example of the kind of "good news" we report at WLOX.

I could give you a list of positive stories I've covered the past few weeks. Truth is, I'd much rather cover a happy story than a depressing one.

But that's not to say we ignore the negative reports either. Crime and other ugly things happen in our community and we have an obligation to report them.

I do find it somewhat curious that there seems to be a real interest in these negative stories. Stories about crime routinely draw the most "hits" on our web site.

It makes me wonder whether the same people who complain about us not doing any "good news" stories, actually prefer reports about crime and other negatives.

No matter. Because we'll continue to provide a balanced look at the variety of news in our community.

Rest assured that when we gather around the table each day to discuss story ideas, these various "good news" stories are not ignored.

One more point. Many times when we fail to cover a "good news" story, it's because nobody told us about it.

Believe it or not, we get plenty of great story ideas from viewers through phone calls, e-mails and news releases. If you have an idea for a story, or would like to share a news event, please contact us.

The story with these Long Beach summer campers came courtesy of Carrie Duncan (thanks Carrie!) who was in touch with a woman from First United Methodist Church. We in the news department found out about it and decided it was a worthy story idea.

Thanks young people! You gave me some inspiration for the week, and allowed us to share another positive story happening here in South Mississippi.

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