Is an arrest really bad news?

Some days it just seems like bad news is rampant. We hear it frequently and, in many instances, we cannot disagree.

A quick first glance at the most recent Sampson Independent front pages could attest to that fact — drug arrests, bank robberies, thefts. They’ve been occurring in what seems like growing numbers, and for some, it appears as if the local newspaper is harping on the negative.

But are we?

Is it really bad news when headlines detail a growing list of suspected drug dealers being taken off the streets? Is it really a negative story when you read that a suspected bank robber, threatening use of a bomb, is captured? We would argue it isn’t. In fact, we see those as good news stories, content that shows a community that law enforcement is doing the job they’ve been hired and trusted to do.

But even if arrests appear to be bad news to some, can you really say there is no good news any more when there are stories right smack dab in the middle of the arrests and criminal activity that tout an Eagle Scout project that will aid in the saving of lives, or the fact that a local man has been named the city’s police chief, or that the new chairwoman of our own Sampson Community College sees nothing but progress ahead for that educational institution?

We would argue that putting drug suspects behind bars and taking suspected robbery suspects into custody is truly good news, even if the crimes they committed are bad. In fact, if we failed to report any of those things, wouldn’t we be doing a disservice to the very community we are charged with serving?

Truth is, we would be.

In the societal climate in which we currently live, where it is easy for people to label anything they don’t like or happen to disagree with as fake news, it becomes harder than ever to inform the public of the things they should know — the good, the bad and the often-times ignored.

As a beacon of information, particularly from a local standpoint, we continue to take very seriously our ethical duty and our community responsibility, offering readers and online visitors a glimpse into life in Sampson County, a real look, not a fake, broad-stroked view that doesn’t truly define us.

Even as legislators like Guilford County’s Sen. Trudy Wade try to usurp the public’s easy access to public notices and, at the same time, destroy newspapers because they dared to be critical of her, local newspapers remain true to their belief that the public has a right to know and that, as journalists, we are bound to provide that information — even if it is presumed to be bad news.

Our goal is to temper the crimes that will happen with the power of the many tremendous acts of bravery, kindness and creativity that comes from a community that certainly has far more good than bad within its borders. We are proud to be able to do so, and we are thankful readers like you won’t us around to tell all the stories that make Sampson the county it is.