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A Peek Behind the News Curtain

Google NewsI thought I would explain how The Daily Flag News is put together. The process is harder than you might think, but it’s also a lot of fun.

By building custom searches in my news reader—Google Reader—I look at 100 to 200 news stories every day. So how does that equal the three to five I publish regularly?

I use this criteria in determining what to publish:

  1. Must have a flag tie-in
  2. Eliminate the bad news stories
  3. Eliminate the controversial news stories
  4. Find redeeming feature to the stories
  5. Something you probably haven’t already read.

Let me explain each of these.

1) Since this is The Daily Flag, I want the story to have a link to flags. That can be stories about American flags, State flags, racing flags, flag football, or stories about flags in other countries. Because of the broad starting criteria, I begin with a large number of stories to choose from.

2) I eliminate the “bad” news stories, since they receive extensive coverage by the regular news media. I tend to enjoy the positive stories that don’t get as much attention from the main stream sources. Applying the “bad” news criteria quickly eliminates 75% of the stories, leaving me to sort through three or four dozen.

I apply the Apostle Paul’s encouragement here.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.

3) Next, I tend to stay away from controversial stories on The Daily Flag. I have nothing against controversial stories, and sometimes it is fun to stir things up a little, but that defeats my purpose here—to offer positive, encouraging news that is not covered every day.

4) I love stories with socially-redeeming value. You’ll notice lots of stories about Scouts and Explorers. I want to share stories about young people that are encouraging. There are enough stories about young people in trouble for burglary and murder leading on the 6:00 news, so there’s no room left to talk about the good deeds these young people are doing.

5) I look for stories that haven’t shown up everywhere. If all you see here are stories you’ve already read or watched, I add no value to your day. My purpose is to bring a smile to your face or cause you to go “hmmm …” as you read a story that your local station didn’t cover, even though it might have occurred in your own back yard.

6) One additional thing: a news story must must pass under Deborah’s editorial review.

That covers the process I use to sort through the news to bring you uplifting, positive, encouraging stories.

2 thoughts on “A Peek Behind the News Curtain

  1. Nice plan. It is working. Tone and consistency are great.

  2. Dave, your kindness is only surpassed by your brevity. Thanks for the pat on the back. I appreciate it.

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