i Editor's Letter: A week of bad news


Stefano Hatfield@stefanohat
Saturday 08 December 2012 01:00

If you heard what we hear at news conferences here at i, unless you were as immune as many journalists to bad news, you'd be hard pressed to finish a shift let alone get the paper out.

Yesterday, as our economics editor, Ben Chu, went through the business news list, the room descended into awkward groans and giggles, such was the unrelenting gloom. At the end of a week that contained the most depressing of Autumn Statements, black humour was all we had left.

i is still young. We set out to be serious but optimistic, but found ourselves in exceptional times. You, mostly, appreciate this. That said, we all need some relief from the apparently endless financial and other woe. It's not just because we can talk recession into depression by only focusing on the negative, but also because for any generalist medium to thrive there needs to be a mix of light and shade, both in its entirety (features, game and puzzles, Deborah Ross) and the news itself.

Some of you write in asking why we can't feature more positive news. But, how do you define good news? It is harder to do so than bad news. Look at the pregnancy of the Duchess of Cambridge – to most Britons a joyful occurrence, but to a minority of i readers an event to be shunned. Some media then went to town on a silly prank two Australian DJs played on the hospital Kate was in, pretending to be the Queen. This was news only so much as a minor privacy breach is news. We gave it an appropriately small slot.

Now, the nurse who first took that call has been found dead. The trivial has become profound. I can only tell you there was nothing but genuine shock here when we heard of it. Our thoughts go out to her family.

See you on Monday. Hopefully, with cheerier news. Stay warm.

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