Who’s ready for more bad news? Another day, another headline, all of them predicting just how much worse 2020 can get.
Until that one YouTube channel started.
As the pandemic known as COVID-19 shook the world and delivered an unprecedented amount of bad news, actor John Krasinski got fed up. Like almost everyone else impatiently and anxiously waiting out the pandemic, Krasinski was fed up with seeing headline after headline delivering bad news. But unlike everyone else, Krasinski decided to do something about his frustration.
The actor took to social media, “begging” for good news to counteract the bad. What his Twitter followers did not know was what he planned to do with the good news—which was to start a YouTube channel, morning news style. The channel, simply named “Some Good News,” was an immediate hit, garnering almost two million subscribers by episode 3 and trending on several social media and news platforms, such as CNN and NBC, not to mention the steady rise in Google searches. Clearly Krasinski was not the only one desperate for good news.
Before long, Krasinski’s fledgling YouTube channel became a hub of interest and involvement for anyone (and seemingly everyone) from political figures and national companies to families across America. In the span of a few episodes, Krasinski connected an ICU team and the whole Boston Red Sox team (through video call, of course) as well as a little girl and tickets to the hit Broadway show Hamilton.
As the channel gained popularity, companies began to take notice, reaching out to Krasinski themselves for an opportunity to do something worth spreading on the show. AT&T approached Krasinski about helping health care workers during the crisis. The result? Nurses and doctors across America had three months of their phone bills paid off. “Some Good News” quickly moved from popular to powerful.
The question this raises is a simple one: how? How does one YouTube channel accomplish so much good for so many people almost overnight?
The answer has nothing to do with John Krasinski’s fame or charisma, although he certainly has an ample amount of both. And the answer has little to do with the trending search—everyone’s looking for good news, especially during a time of crisis.
The power behind this channel comes from the power behind all good news. It is the power to change how people look at the world.
In other words, it isn’t surprising that people are looking for “Some Good News” during a pandemic. What is surprising is that people are looking to make good news.
As soon as Krasinski started counteracting the bad news of a very dismal time with some good news of acts of kindness, people began coming out of the woodwork to get involved. Not just to share their stories, but to participate in acts of kindness worth sharing. Krasinski had little power to make a difference on his own, but as people began to reach out, the good news he could share got bigger and bigger.
This is a fallen world. If it weren’t, a YouTube channel called “Some Good News” would not be nearly as popular. But this world is also full of people—people with an incredible capacity for good.
Some call this idea “faith in humanity.” Others call it “the image of God.” But for everyone, this good side of humanity is often difficult to see. Whether during a time of crisis or not, those staying connected through media are bombarded with bad news. The fact remains—there is plenty of bad news to go around.
But what John Krasinski and his channel have illustrated is that everyone wants to believe in this capacity for good. When Krasinski started putting some good news into the world, many followed suit. The show’s popularity is a reminder that we don’t just want to share good news, we want to be good news—by donating time, money, and resources to help or simply encourage others. One genuinely good act sparked many more.
Why? Because one good act has the power to remind the world that being good still matters.
John Krasinski reminded people that doing good matters. That one reminder was all it took for people to start acting on their desire to put some good into a very dark world. And those people, fallen people in a fallen world, are why Krasinski has anything to report on. Krasinski’s show proves the antidote to reading bad news isn’t reading good news — it’s being good news.
It is incredibly easy to go through life believing that there is more bad than good in this world, that there always will be, and that there is nothing one person alone can do about that. It’s easy to believe that one good act doesn’t go very far.
But one good act can change someone’s view of the world. And that, as illustrated by “Some Good News,” is a powerful thing.