Editor and Publisher of The Good News Network (see my blog roll). I would like to introduce this special person to you. Without further ado, here’s an Q&A interview with Geri, via email. Enjoy.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Background, etc.?
I am the founder and managing editor of the Good News Network, the #1
website for positive news and inspiration on the web. The website is
now in its 12th year. With two decades in TV, video and online news
media, I have the perfect background for social online media.
I grew up in Milwaukee and moved to the DC area in 1979, enrolling in
college for radio and TV. I left the news business after ten years to
raise a family and now have 3 unschooling teenagers. (They don’t go to
school full time. Instead for 7 years we’ve engaged in natural
You started the Good News Network in 1997. Was there a compelling
reason, did something happen in your life to spur your decision?
Well, the Web came along, didn’t it? I had always had the idea for a
good news TV show, but realized with the advent of the web that I now
had no excuse for NOT creating good news programming. I also had a 6
year old in the house and when the news audible, and some graphic
horrible story was broadcast, I wondered how this could possibly be
good for a family.
Tell us about how the Good News Network has evolved. Has it
changed from what it was in the beginning?
The Web site is in its third iteration. First, as a straight html
simple website, second, in 2006 as a blog, using content management
software, and then in January 2008 as a full-fledged news portal with
specialized news software..
Where do you get your good news?
All over. I get my news from
everywhere. Some of the sites and services that offer the best good
news are MSNBC video, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, and Associated
Press. Also, a lot of my news links are submitted by viewers across
the world. A few stories each month are original to the Good News
Network, written and compiled by viewers, authors or myself. I’ve
become a magnet for good news, and I know where to look. I have RSS
feeds and Google alerts set up to help me find the uplifting content.
5. What are your parameters for a good news story?
They can’t be too confrontational. I prefer content that illustrates a common groundbetween former foes or adversaries. I do tend to lean toward stories
that emphasize freedom and/or tolerance.
Obviously heroes and good Samaritans are worthy, unless it is the kind of story I see all the time — neighbor wakes up family when fire appears (which is something anyone would do for their neighbor, and I don’t have the time to be
adding the dozens of stories each week like this that are in the
This is what I ask myself: How does it make me feel?
Indifference or the shoulder-shrugging is a telltale sign to let it
go. A strong feeling of warmth or pride, and it makes the news!
You’ve featured a lot of good news on your GNN. Are there any
stories that stand out? Can you share some?
Forgiving the Unforgivable stands out: The story of upper class
California parents who give up their gated community to befriend and
help their daughter’s murderers in South Africa
I featured it in my newsletter after 9/11 to stress forgiveness.
People can download this commemorative newsletter today:
— A free hugs campaign and video from Australia got the most hits
ever on my site. I caught it several days after it hit YouTube and it
became a huge sensation, landing the maker on Oprah, etc.
Heart-warming video on YouTube:
Where would you like to go in the future?
I would like to start not only a TV show, but an entire cable news
channel of good news, a radio talk show, and magazine!
How do you make money with good news only?
Last April I polled my viewers and 67% of more than 700 people said
they would pay for good news. So in May, the following month, I
launched a 100 percent subscription site, but with a free weekly
I always thought that if I got any national publicity, people would
find out about the Good News Network and be very excited. After I was
interviewed on NPR and the Washington Post last week, thousands of
people flocked to the site, and thousands of dollars flowed into my
Paypal account! I was right, and I will continue to pursue national
publicity as a way to reach more viewers — millions of whom still
don’t know anything like this exists, and would LOVE the chance to
subscribe to good news.
Have you seen an increase in readers/visitors since the economic
Immediately! The traffic rose 45% from people simply
Googling “good news”. I’m #1 on Google so they found me… And, it
stayed up too. After the NPR and Post interviews, my subscriber total
was up by 42 % and saw more than 10,000 visitors in a single day.
Why do you think good news is so important?
It promotes in your
brain, your beliefs and your sub-conscience the idea that you should
expect the good — and that the good is likely to happen. The Law of
Attraction steps in with such beliefs and brings more health, more
luck, more prosperity and more happiness. Besides that, what we think
in our minds directly affects our health. Through the mind-body
connection, our thinking (leading to stress or happiness) determines
At the end of the day, what do you hope to have achieved?
To inspire my readers, to spend happy moments with my kids – and inspired
them, as well, and to express creativity in everything I do – the true
On a more personal note, what music do you like to listen to?
Over the years I’ve been a big fan of Todd Rundgren, Francis Dunnery,
Steely Day, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney.
Harry Potter, The Four Agreements
Pasta Carbonara, a Tom Cruise recipe that I have
“made my own”, by substituting whole wheat pasta and adding Canadian
bacon or spiral honey ham, instead of the Italian bacon.
Ocean’s 11, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bull Durham
You use a lot of positive quotes at GNN. What is your all time
“What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” (Once
attributed to Goethe, the quote is a paraphrase by John Anster of a
couplet from Faust.