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This is totally un-Photoshop or photography related, so you might want to skip this, but my wife and I were having a discussion over breakfast last month that sparked this post, and I just felt I had to write about it, even though it’s well outside my usual area of reporting.

I usually like to start my day by checking the news, and I usually start by taking a quick look at both CNN.com and Fox News.com (that’s my attempt at trying to get both sides of the story), but I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t want to read the morning news anymore, because they include so much tragic news of children being horribly abused, or women being killed or raped, and children being killed, that I don’t start my day informed—I start my day depressed.

I want to read about politics, world news, finance, what’s happening in the Middle East, sports, entertainment news, weather, our government, science, health, and technology. I do want to know about suffering and tragedy around the world that we can do something about, but I hate reading every day about the husband that bludgeoned his pregnant wife, and then killed his four year old daughter. I hate hearing about kids being tortured, and women being beaten, and a mother putting her child in a microwave. As a parent myself, it not only sends chills down my spine, but it chips away at my soul wondering how anyone, anywhere could do these horrible things to people, much less to their own family members and children.

We’re a country of 300 million people, and within a group of that many people, lie some incredibly tragic stories, but when they’re served up to you every day in your own home, it feels like it’s happening all around you. As my wife said, “Do I have to hear about every bad mother that does something horrible to her kids in every state, every day?” Even when it happens 3,000 miles away, they make it sound like it happened in the house next door.

Of course, you might say, “Well Scott, just don’t read those stories” but you don’t even have to — as I showed my wife, the news headlines are tragic and depressing all by themselves—you don’t even need to read the story. So, as a totally unscientific experiment, I thought for one week, I’d write down every personal tragedy headline from both CNN.com and FoxNews.com and see if I’m being as bombarded with it as I feel like I am.

I started on Saturday, January 12th 2008 and for one week I just copied and pasted those headlines right off their home page, and into a text document. So, how bad were these headlines really? You tell me:

  • Cops Dig to Recover Pregnant Marine’s Remains
  • Stabbed Woman, 4 Kids Found Dead in Burning Home
  • Police: Dad Who Wanted Son Killed Baby Girl
  • HIV-Positive Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Acts With Teens
  • Baby tossed from SUV
  • Mother Charged With Murder: Kids Were ‘Possessed by Demons
  • Cops: Mom Put Son, 7, in Oven as Punishment
  • Body of 1 of 4 Kids Thrown From Bridge Found
  • Cops: Dad Sodomized Teen Stepson to Avenge Rape
  • Unconscious Ohio Man Charged With Killing Wife, 4 Kids
  • 2nd Body Found in Search For Kids Thrown Off Bridge
  • Manhunt After 2 Women, 2 Kids Shot Dead in Indianapolis
  • Woman tried to save four girls, no one listened
  • Stray Bullet Changes 10-Year-Old Boy’s Life Forever
  • Iraqi Official’s Convoy Runs Over, Kills 5 Children
  • Ex-Scout Leader Caught in World Child Porn Sting
  • Americans Eyed in Brazil Nudist Colony Abuse of Kids
  • Man Charged in Missing NYC Woman Case
  • Schoolgirl Rape Victim Burned With Acid
  • Kenyan Gangs Using Genital Mutilation as Weapon
  • Tiger Attack 911 Tape: ‘My Brother’s About to Die!’
  • Dead Girl’s Hell Revisited at Stepfather’s Murder Trial
  • ‘Baby Grace’ Laid to Rest After Washing Ashore in Texas
  • Dramatic 911 call in hiker’s murder
  • Gruesome Pics Show Slain Coed’s Home Night of Murder
  • Student Shot in North Carolina Drive-By
  • Ohio Man Accused of Killing Family in Fire
  • Texas Teen in 911 Call: ‘I’m Dying’
  • Student shot in school parking lot
  • Mom says boy was bullied to death
  • Teens accused of pimping girls, gang-rape
  • Slain hiker remembered as ‘angel,’ ‘firecracker’
  • Hiker’s alleged killer named in 3 more deaths
  • Mayor: D.C. failed 4 slain children
  • Baby Dies After Sitter Swings Him in Sleeping Bag
  • Missouri Mayor Charged in Internet Child Sex Sting
  • House party teen charged with child porn
  • 2 tiny corpses found; search on for 2 more
  • Sleeping bag prank kills toddler
  • Letters show misery of jungle hostages
  • 5 Found Dead in Submerged Car
  • Baby Thrown Off Freeway Bridge, Hit by Cars
  • Mom Backing Out of Driveway Kills Daughter, 2
  • Lawmaker Gets 44 Years for Raping Foster Daughters
  • 4 kids under age 5 trapped in burning car
  • Letter from dead sister haunts brothers
  • Woman Kills Self, 2 Children by Walking Onto Interstate
  • College Wrestler Killed in Crash on Way to Meet
  • Police Find Body in Search for Florida Mom
  • 15-Year-Old Fatally Stabbed in Schoolyard
  • 4 Arrested in Indianapolis Murders of Moms, Kids
  • Baby Put Up for Sale on Craigslist
  • Alaskan Group Wants to Kill Wolf Pups in Dens
  • College Wrestler Killed in Crash on Way to Meet

That’s how much personal human tragedy is served up to me every week, 52 weeks a year. Now, here’s the thing: These aren’t all the headlines like this they ran; these are just the ones I found at the time that I checked the news from my home, so it’s really just a sampling from the few times a day I check the news. As I said, this wasn’t scientific (by any means), and was just a “chance” sampling taken at whenever I got around to checking the news that day.

In my un-official sampling, I did note which ones were from CNN.com and which ones where from FoxNews.com, and the majority of the tragic headlines turned out to be from FoxNews.com, so at least that told me maybe I don’t need as much “Balanced” news as I thought. So I’m on the lookout for an online source that tells me what’s going on in the world, in politics, finance, sports, etc., without making me depressed, disgusted, frustrated, and just plain bummed each morning on my way to work

I’m not trying to pretend these things don’t happen—I know they do (I’ve been served a steady diet of it for years now), I just need a break from it. I need a breather from daily piles of personal tragedy and I just need the “other” news. I need a different daily world news source, and if you know of one that I should be reading instead, just post it here in my comments section, and I’ll gladly give give it a read. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and maybe if enough people find they need a “new news source,” these sites will start to change. That would actually cheer me up.