Deciding what makes the news no easy job

There’s a saying in news: ‘‘if it bleeds, it leads.’’

If a story involves conflict, violence or tragedy it is more likely to get top billing in the coveted front pages of the newspaper.

Dramatic headlines and gut-wrenching photos tend to draw all the attention, for better or worse.

I’m not saying that is wrong, but it is not always right.

I completely get it — those stories are more likely to draw people’s attention.

Each week I get the privilege — and sometimes headache — of determining what makes it into the pages of The News. And it’s not a straightforward process.

There are many, many factors that come into play — the number of pages in that week’s paper; will it be out of date next week, does it have a good photo, how does it fit among the other stories we are running that week?

And that is just the start.

I have a team of incredible, dedicated journalists based in Alexandra and Wanaka with boots on the ground in their communities.

They are out there chasing stories, attending events, capturing photos and video and asking the hard questions.

They write stories to inform, to challenge and entertain.

Sometimes there are too many stories, and other times it seems as if there are not enough.

This week was a week of fun, feel-good stories — we love those because they don’t happen often and when you work in news long enough, sometimes the stories you cover can wear you down.

Covering the darker side of society, reporting traumatic events and pursuing answers to the hard questions is important but it can take a toll.

Sometimes we just need good news.

This week we have some great ‘‘feel good’’ stories for you — a couple whose love has spanned six decades; a young grower at the top of his game; the joy of children in the Maniototo as they testdrive their new playground; and a golfer who defied the odds get a double hole-inone.

These are just some of the stories that are happening every week in our community.

They may not be the most dramatic, or even what we would consider ‘‘hard news’’ — but they are your stories and they matter, too.