David Trinko: Why the world needs silly news stories


By David Trinko - The Lima News



ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

It’s OK to laugh at the news.

Every story has a different purpose. Some inform you about what your government is doing. Some warn you about possibly dangerous people going through the court system. Some tell you interesting stories about your neighbors.

And some are just there to make you scratch your head or chuckle.

One of the most-commented articles on The Lima News’ Facebook page this week was about one of our “Get This” items, which appear on page 2A of each day’s newspaper and pops online at 8 a.m. most days.

On Tuesday morning, some readers got angry that we bothered to share a story that rapper Sean Combs reinvented himself again. Over the years, Combs used names such as Puffy, Diddy and Puff Daddy. Now he wants to be called “Love, a.k.a. Brother Love.”

Many didn’t think anyone needed to know about this, and they didn’t want anyone else to see it. Oddly enough, by commenting on an article on Facebook, they actually made it so more people would see it, but the backward wonders of Facebook is a topic for another day.

It’s a silly story in a spot reserved for silly news, which we label “Get This.” Frankly, it’s one of my favorite areas of the paper. This daily feature, which eats up a whopping 10 percent of one page in the paper, often ends up being the most talked-about story each day. It’s fun to pick out the stories for the spot and try to write a clever headline that fits in the one column allotted to the newspaper page.

During 2017, “Get This” offered plenty of head-scratching short stories, such as the self-described drug dealer who called 911 to report someone stole his cocaine, the shoppers who wrangled a deer stuck inside a supermarket or the man who lost his fight on a ticket for warming up his car in the winter.

It’s a reminder that somewhere in the world, every day of the year, there’s something quirky happening. In my line of work, we call these “talkers,” stories that aren’t necessarily important but offer us a little bit of comic relief in an increasingly polarized and terrifying world.

We had our own variation of one in Saturday’s newspaper, with a front-page story about an AEP electric truck stolen from Van Wert County and recovered in Grover Hill. I know a large number of you read that story; I can see our web stats. I suspect you thought the same thing I did, “Why on earth would you steal an electric company truck?”

Was that story, or any of these stories that appear as “Get This” items, going to change the world? Probably not. But that’s OK. Your daily newspaper is designed for your daily life.

Your daily life has important events, and it has its mundane events. It also has moments where you seek out entertainment too.

Your newspaper should reflect that. Whether your distraction is sports, lifestyles, comics, puzzles or odd stories from throughout the world, we have you covered.

So for all those people asking why we’d bother sharing these kind of stories, it’s because news is more than just the bad stuff. If it’s not for you, you can feel free to ignore it and move onto something else that interests you more. There’s plenty in the paper targeted to lots of different kinds of people.

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By David Trinko

The Lima News

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

David Trinko is managing editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at dtrinko@limanews.com or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

David Trinko is managing editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at dtrinko@limanews.com or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.