Our basic belief is not that people should be insulated from bad news. Far from it. We encourage people to be fully engaged, fully informed citizens. That means we need to know the good and the bad. We just believe much of the traditional media has strayed from this course, and reports a disproportionate amount of negative news. We are trying to balance the scales back out. Plus, let's be honest, there are some days when we have just "had enough" and need a pick-me-up. Hopefully this site accomplishes that.
Who are these Citizen Reporters and what is the value of citizen journalism to the site?
We look especially for those happy positive stories that we can't get anywhere else ï¿½ and that means assigning Citizen Journalists to go out and interview people for direct quotes, to find anecdotes, and cover events in their backyards and communities that may not grab the attention of standard media outlets. This fresh and immediate perspective is the added value Citizen Journalism brings our readers.
Quite simply, having citizen journalists means that we can have eyes and ears in places that professional journalists wouldn't normally be stationed ï¿½ news happens every day in many places in the world.
It's a bold and exciting experiment in reporting ï¿½ but we hope that other news organizations feel it is worthwhile and seek to emulate it.
Where does HappyNews.com get news and information?
Our citizen journalists are teachers, bus drivers, mothers, fathers, community volunteers, beginning writers, college students, friends, just about anyone who wants to share local stories with the world. We pay these folks a small per word gratuity and add tip jars to their work so our readers can thank them for taking the time to send us news from their worlds. We trust people understand we wish we could pay more, but the economic realities of the site preclude that. So please support their hard work. Over 200 Citizen Journalists have reported from over 10 countries including Croatia, Israel, Trinidad, India, and Canada just to name a few. Additionally our citizen-journalist articles are published alongside the work of professional freelance journalists, Associated Press wire stories, and stories from our staff. Click here here if you are interested in becoming a citizen journalist at Happynews.com.
Professional freelance journalists also feel compelled to contribute stories to our site. Some of these freelancers have written for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Glamour, The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. You will note some stories written by freelance professional journalists are not listed as citizen journalist pieces. Pay rate for these stories is based on the depth of research required, the immediacy/relevance of content to current events, and the writer's resume/experience. When we elect to use these stories (assigned to or pitched by professional writers) HappyNews editors use the above criteria to determine the pay rate offered to the freelance professional writer on a story by story basis.
We also pull all the positive news stories we can from the Associated Press and other wire services. These stories are credited to the wires from which they are obtained.
Why the Need for Positive News?
There are a number of different factors for turning off and tuning out regular news ï¿½ but a lot of people don't like to talk about the news these days. Too depressing, too violent, too controversial? Whatever the reason, we believe there would be more talk about all the news if there was more positive content in the news to talk about; so we are doing something about it.
By combining positive news reporting with citizen journalism we give new and previously unpublished writers an amplified voice; and we give our readers a great source for happy news rarely covered by regular media outlets. This concept of reporting also encourages people to get in contact with their communities again ï¿½ every time a citizen journalist goes out to contact someone in their neighborhood with a story, a friendship might form. People who go out and investigate their neighborhoods on a regular basis may develop a deeper concern for their community and the people in it. It's a win-win situation.
What does other media has to say about HappyNews.com:
Since our launch in July 2005, we have been featured in over 200 news sources around the world including: CNN, NPR, Fox News, The Washington Post, The London Times, BBC and many more. We have also been features on radio programs in Japan, England, Canada and the US. The launch of HappyNews was also ranked in Foxnews.com's top 10 list of notable events of 2005.
What is the standard for happy news?
When our editors scour the wire for positive news, review submissions from our citizen journalists, or set about to write our own report we ask two simple questions, would 95 percent of our readers believe this is happy or positive information, and second is this content 100 percent accurate? If we can say yes then we can post the story.
Whose idea is this anyway?
Credit goes to our publisher Byron Reese. Mr.Reese works in the online content publishing business and after repeatedly hearing that familiar phrase "Why don't they report any positive news?" he decided to do something about it. 'Would people actually read happy news? Would it generate a following? Do people want to hear about good things happening in the world?' These are the questions Reese sought out to answer and as the site is taking off the answer is a resounding YES! The thanks goes out to our readers!
Can I advertise on HappyNews.com?
YES! HappyNews is now accepting advertising media for placement throughout our site. Both the content and the advertisements on HappyNews.com carry our positive theme --automatically placing your brand in nothing less than a positive light. Contact HappyNews Advertising at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Does HappyNews.com have a hidden agenda?
We get asked this often. The answer is there is no hidden agenda. We have no religious or political agenda at all. We are simply dedicated to bringing more happy news into the world for people of all races, creeds, and religions to enjoy.