I know it’s Good News Friday but every once in a while real life intervenes, and I could not in good conscience write something today without talking (briefly, at least) about the awful, horrible tragedy in Annapolis, Md., Thursday afternoon, when a man walked into the newsroom of the Capital Gazette-Times and murdered five people.
There is so much I could and want to say about this tragedy, about how the profession I love so much is in mourning tonight as I write this. But I’m not sure how coherent I’d be on it. So I’ll leave my thoughts on the subject for another day, and simply print the thoughts of two journalists I read on Twitter Thursday night.
First, from veteran TV producer Kyle Feldscher: “The Times-Picayune kept working while Katrina destroyed their homes. WDBJ didn’t stop working when two of its reporters were murdered on air. KHOU-11 kept filming as their offices flooded during Harvey. The Capital Gazette will put out a paper tonight.
You cannot stop us.”
And then this, from veteran reporter Brian Shane:
What we call “the media” may include a few major newspapers and national TV networks, but mostly, it’s hundreds of small-town news operations like capgaznews. They are part of the communities they cover. They’re your friends and families. Not some “enemy.” Please remember that.”
Thank you for reading. On with the good news…
There are always wonderful human interest stories coming out of major international sporting events, and for as much as corrupt organizations like FIFA and the International Olympic Committee try to ruin them, it’s the human element that shines through.
Sometimes the humanity comes from a player or coach, but often it comes from fans. Check out this wonderful example of one person helping another feel joy. The Colombian soccer team advanced to the Round of 16 by winning on Thursday, and I know of at least one person who was overjoyed.
Jose Richard Gallego loves his country’s team as much as anyone. But he can neither see nor hear them play, for at age 9 he contracted a serious disease that robbed him of his hearing and sight.
Still, he watches the games now, thanks to a remarkable friend of his named Cesar. Cesar learned sign language, and according to this amazing story by Sky News, holds Jose’s hands and through a complicated series of moves and gestures, describes the action to his friend.
It’s a beautiful, beautiful story.
**Next up today, there was a monumental political upset in New York this week, as a 28-year-0ld former bartender named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a Democratic primary for Congress over longtime and powerful incumbent Joe Crowley.
Crowley hadn’t been even challenged in more than a decade, he’d been in Congress since 1999. But a determined woman with a small army of supporters beat back an establishment, corporate Democrat who frankly deserved to be defeated.
Ocasio-Cortez’s bio video introducing herself to voters was amazing; watch and see how well she connects and appeals to the people in her community.
What a rising star she is, and a beacon of hope.
**And finally today, a small story that feels so big to the people in it. A janitor at a college in England called the University of Bristol named Herman Gordon was always known as a happy man, walking around campus.
But students learned he hadn’t been able to afford to fly back to Jamaica to see his family in four years. So they held a fundraiser and came up with enough money to let Herman and his wife fly home for a week-long vacation.
Watch this video, and Herman’s reaction. Pure goodness.