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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 November, 2004, 11:49 GMT
Good news, bad news
By Amanda Farnsworth
Editor, Six O'Clock News

Doom-laden and downbeat. That's a view held by some BBC News viewers who want to know why we don't carry more "good news". NewsWatch asked the Editor of the Six O'Clock News, Amanda Farnsworth, to respond.

No news is good news, as the saying goes, but is all news bad news?

Sophie Raworth and George Alagiah
Six O'Clock News presenters Sophie Raworth and George Alagiah discuss the news agenda
No, I don't think so. News is about events - something happens which changes the status quo. But it's true that, often, it is "doom- laden" events that tend to do that and have a lasting impact.

Terrorist attacks, suicide bombs, antisocial behaviour, climate change - none of it is cheery but all of it is important.

Sometimes news is neither good nor bad, it reflects a debate or controversy - for example, the debate over asylum policy, hunting or a lot of sports news.

But sometimes we do carry news that is good.

The story of Charlie Whitaker has been followed by the Six for two years.

He is a little boy who has finally been cured of his blood disorder through a transfusion from his baby brother.

Amanda Farnsworth
We do try to include news that isn't bad news but...quite often the bad news is of more significance
Amanda Farnsworth

It was controversial but was "good" in the sense that a small boy's life was saved.

Other good news stories we've done recently on BBC News are new vaccines, falling cancer rates, and successful space exploration missions.

So we do try quite hard to include news that isn't bad news in our programmes but equally, in the difficult times in which we live, quite often the bad news is of more significance.



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