These days, I usually read the news on the Internet. I do so because the news are newer (though, these days, you need to watch out for fake news), and I can access news from all over the world and read them in their original languages. I like to get them as “hot” as possible, both in time and in closeness to the sources.
But once in a while, I find some articles printed in newspapers I enjoy long after they have turned “cold.” Although they are worth less as news, they have gained value as stories, with well-thought out style, structure, and sentences. And I found one such article on the evening of April 12th, when I happened to gaze at the newspaper a man standing in front of me on the train home spread open.
It was about a boy who missed his primary school graduation ceremony late in March because he had fevers. A few days later, when he got better and went to school to receive his certificate, he was welcomed by his classmates who, with the help from their parents and teachers, had organized a surprise graduation ceremony just for him!
The story itself was heart-warming, but what melted my heart was the way it was written – in the first person. The journalist had taken the time to cover not only the facts but also the feelings that had taken place in this little news, and stuffed them neatly in an article no bigger than 10 X 10 cm (roughly 4 X 4 in.).
It originally caught my eye because I had a similar experience. I had to leave my classmates behind after the first trimester of my final year in primary school to move to what has now become my second homeland, which meant that I would not be able to graduate with them. I was used to moving around, so “no biggie,” I thought… but not my teacher (the dedicated one I scribbled about here) or my classmates. They found me to be an indispensable part of the class, and made sure I remained a part even after I left by holding an early graduation ceremony just for me.
The memory erupted when I read the last line of the article:
When I returned home, I phoned my grandmother and told her “I had a graduation ceremony today. I wasn’t alone. Everybody came for me.” [my translation]
I recalled very vividly that I had the same feeling. The graduation ceremony “news” was decades old in me, but it is still just as fresh today!
Maybe the boy in the story does not need his “news” to be made into an article to keep it fresh in his memory… I certainly didn’t!
And maybe no one would have missed his “news” if it were not told… there are so many other headlines, of your own and of the world around you, coming and going on any given day, that maybe if would have been better to use up the space on the newspaper to cover a news with greater relevance to a greater number of readers.
But maybe to the fewer who read through this article, his “news” really mattered… it definitely rekindled old feelings in me, and I am certain it warmed up quite a few hearts grown cold with the many chilling news we find in the headlines these days.
And maybe these warmed hearts will become the sources of the next “hot” news that will melt many more.
Yes, I like my news served “hot.” But maybe I would not mind them being “(c)old” if they can be re-heated afresh. Bottom line, maybe people want to read news that shed light on new insights – on the facts and feelings in the world and in ourselves.
Are we getting the news we want in journalism of today?
As I make this post on April 27, 2017, I have found out that the article I read on newspaper was also made available on the Internet, with a photo that complemented the story very well. At least with this news, I believe I got more than what I wanted!