By: JODI B. COHEN
FIRST LADY HILLARY Rodham Clinton recently offered some advice about how newspapers should do more reporting on the nation’s good kids.
Addressing a Freedom Forum-sponsored event during the Associated Press Managing Editors annual conference in Denver, the first lady also answered questions about the president’s failed health care reform bill, and why the “office” of the first lady is widely criticized.
“I think it is an important effort you are undertaking to try and stay involved and up to date on everything that you have to cover,” she said. “I remember an incredible comment about writing ? just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”
She spoke about a growing spirit and confidence among children, even in the toughest places in America, where she has seen people who can deal with the problems they face.
“All you have to do is give them some support, encouragement and literally every problem I read about in your publications has been solved somewhere,” she said. “I have actually seen it with my own eyes.”
She said although some of the constructive efforts get covered in newspapers, it’s not what everyone thinks of as news. But, the efforts begin to pay off; readers need to know about them.
“People need to know more about why, and what works and how others can model their solution on what has happened across town,” she said, “because so many times the only images we see of children are negative ones.”
She shared a story with members about a black child she met at an inner city school in Philadelphia. She described the school as a forbidden-looking place with barbed wire and locked doors, but on the inside, an effort to make the school a safe haven could be seen.
“This little boy asked me, ‘Why doesn’t anybody ever say anything good about us? Most of us are really trying to be good kids, but nobody ever says that,’ ” she said. “He then stopped and said, ‘Well, I suppose it’s like all the airplanes that take off, the only ones you hear about are the ones that crash.’ “
Among the common themes Clinton hears during her travels is that the people are tired of the press not saying anything good about them.
“There is a lot of good news out there and a lot of opportunities to see a reflection of that good news in newspapers on a more regular basis.”
She quoted a survey completed a few years ago, which concluded that press coverage of violence doubled in the previous year when the overall crime rate had stayed the same.
“The crime rate is actually going down now, and that’s good news,” she said. “But, America still feels they are awash in crime and violence, and children feel so much more insecure than they should.”
?(FIrst lady Hillary Rodham Clinton) [Photo & Caption]