All things considered, even bad news is necessary

Michael Tortorich
Michael Tortorich is a reporter for The Gonzales Weekly Citizen. He can be reached at reporter1 @

There’s no shortage of bad news out there lately, that’s for sure.

While we all would love to open up newspapers and check news sites and only find stories on bake sales and quilting contests, unfortunately, that’s not the world in which we live.

Journalists owe it to their readers to accurately expose the world for what it really is. They hold up the mirror to society and reflect back an image, and, simply put, it is what it is.

We’re all bombarded by news of the recession on a daily basis. People are losing their jobs and many don’t know where to turn.

A poor economy has a far reach in the lives of everyone. Many are left with nowhere to go, and that in turn ends up affecting children as well.

A new report found that most states have inadequate plans to address the problem of homeless children. It found one in every 50 American children experiences homelessness.

Analysts from the National Center on Family Homelessness looked at data from 2005 to 2006 and found that Louisiana tops the list with the highest rate with just under 19 percent. Researchers did note that number may have been unusually high since the figures were gathered after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Even people with homes and jobs have cause for concern.

In the River Parishes area, many are employed at the various plants that line the Mississippi.

While safety is preached as a top priority when dealing in often dangerous conditions, many know they can be in harm’s way at any given moment.

Just this week an explosion and fire at an oil offloading facility in St. James Parish killed one man and injured three people.

Of course some accidents cannot be avoided, but this should serve as a reminder of the importance of safety.

In another recent tragic incident, innocent bystanders died after an accused intoxicated man struck them as they walked on a roadway near Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

This comes as Gov. Bobby Jindal is pushing to make changes to the way the state prosecutes drunk drivers.

An incident like the one in Hammond puts real faces on the victims of drunken driving, adding to the many others who die needlessly due to the irresponsibility of some drivers.

To add insult to injury, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office somehow lost the report of a prior DWI arrest of the suspect.

And last but certainly not least came the horrible discovery of several dead animals along a creek in Livingston Parish between French Settlement and Colyell.

As authorities investigate the matter, much speculation has been made as to how the animals ended up there and if there were any criminal acts involved.

As gruesome as the details may be, the media did right by exposing the story.

News is not always pretty, as evident by all of these stories, but it is vital.

As tough as it may be to digest, sometimes we simply need to know.