Alex Crowe

Archive for the ‘Question time’ Category

Good news stories: Discuss

In Question time on January 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

I just came back from London, which has barely changed since I last saw it.

Yes, there’s a shiny new, power-hungry skyscraper that stands almost completely empty. But the sky is still oppressively grey, the drizzle is still depressingly unrelenting, and the ads on the commuter trains are still inexplicably dull – a massive oversight considering how much time is spent waiting for the broken-down train at <name of station two stops down the line>.

Now, I know most people read books, ebooks, free papers and text messages, but there’s still that opportunity waiting when the traveller raises their head in frustration and anger, their eyes turned skyward in an appeal to an apparently uncaring deity. The eyes always float along the line of ads above the luggage rack before coming back to the book or tablet in front of them. Or is it just me?

The only ad I actually read was for Shelter, talking about the 70-something thousand children without a home this Christmas (a figure that I think went over 80-something thousand after going to press). Like their online video, a good ad. But it got me wondering – with the success of activities like Comic Relief, what kind of testing has been done on good vs. bad news stories? What are the figures on people donating because little Katie is in a B&B, for example, compared with Katie being returned to a comfortable home thanks to a donation from someone like you?

I really would like to know.