Click, click: Tough calls journalists must make, when facing good news and dumb news

What we have here is the kind of laugh-to-keep-from-crying conversation that journalists have had for ages and ages. Amen.

However, the topic discussed in the YouTube located at the top of this post -- offering us a chance to touch base with former GetReligionista George Conger (in clericals) -- has become even more common in the digital news era. You know, this current age in which the journalistic temptation to seek out cat videos and "You won't believe what happens next" listicles continues to grow.

Yes, "Anglican Unscripted" is not a mainstream news product. It's an Anglican affairs video podcast with a conservative point of view.

Still, about two minutes in, Conger and co-host Kevin Kallsen (with guitar) start discussing a very important editorial matter, which is why it makes little sense in the internet news era to cover "good" stories that everyone already knows about and "dumb news" that may be humorous or somewhat ironic, but it's so predictable that no one needs to pays attention.

As George states: "Consistently good news, and consistently dumb stories, eventually do not sell."

Let's just say that a key phrase in this discussion is, rather than, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism" is "One Lord, one faith, one toilet."

The key question: Why didn't the following press release -- a letter from the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and other leads in the denomination -- generate mainstream news coverage, even in liberal settings that would logically support this action? Here's the key passage:

... We believe that, as the New Testament says, “perfect love casts out fear.” On June 10, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church stood against fear and for God’s love by passing a resolution that reaffirms the Episcopal Church’s support of local, state and federal laws that prevent discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression and voices our opposition to all legislation that seeks to deny the God-given dignity, the legal equality, and the civil rights of transgender people.
The need is urgent, because laws like the one in North Carolina prey on some of the most vulnerable people in our communities -- some of the very same people who were targeted in the Orlando attack. In a 2011 survey, 78 percent of transgender people said that they had been bullied or harassed in childhood; 41 percent said they had attempted suicide; 35 percent had been assaulted, and 12 percent had suffered a sexual assault. Almost half of transgender people who responded to the survey said they had suffered job discrimination, and almost a fifth had lost housing or been denied health care due to their gender identity or expression.
In keeping with Executive Council’s resolution, we are sending a letter to the governor and members of the North Carolina General Assembly calling on them to repeal the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.”

Why so little uproar? Conger notes this simple fact of news physics: There is nothing surprising in this announcement by the Episcopal Church. Where is the news?

Or what about this story, on the Anglican right? One can expect the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette team (frequently praised here at GetReligion) to cover this story, and they did. It's local and it's news. The overture:

The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh elected a Georgia pastor Saturday to be its next leader in a landmark election to succeed the retiring Bishop Robert Duncan, who led the diocese’s break with the Episcopal Church eight years ago.
Clergy and lay delegates elected the Rev. James Hobby, who got his start in ministry in Southwestern Pennsylvania a quarter century ago, on the fifth ballot. Six candidates were originally on the ballot at a special convention, held at St. Stephen Anglican Church in Sewickley.
If his election is ratified by other bishops in the Anglican Church in North America at their June meeting, Rev. Hobby would be consecrated as bishop in September.
Rev. Hobby, currently pastor of Trinity Church in Thomasville, Ga., earned his master’s of divinity at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge in 1985 and served at two Mon Valley parishes from 1986 to 1990 before moving on to pulpits in other states.
“I look forward to coming home,” he said afterward.

OK, why wouldn't this be a traffic driver for the conservative Anglicans at Anglican Unscripted? I think Conger's answer will surprise you a bit. The bottom line: It's good news. There are no surprises and lose ends.

Make sense? Watch the video and let us know what you think about these matters.

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