Good Samaritans

The Southeast Missourian has always striven to give an accurate portrayal of our community. The very nature of the news makes it difficult to find a balance between the importance of what is routine vs. what is unusual.

For instance, a high profile crime is front-page news, partly because it's highly unusual (which is a good thing; many crimes that are "shocking" here are routine in much larger markets). But crime news is hardly an accurate representation of the Cape Girardeau area. There is, in any news organization, a tug-and-pull between what is interesting vs. what is meaningful.

At our newspaper, and many community newspapers for that matter, we put a heavy emphasis on the meaningful, albeit routine, things that happen in our community. It's why we publish honor rolls, awards and achievements. It's why we cover banquets, why we publish a community calendar, why we do stories on civic organizations, run birth announcements and publish submitted photos. On the whole, it's these types of things that define our community, much more so than the unusual newsmaker stories about crimes and government controversies.

It is in this spirit that we today launch a new project called the Good Samaritan Chronicles. The concept is simple. We know that every day throughout our coverage area that people are helping each other, that good deeds are being done to build relationships and make communities stronger. We know that so many of these things are not recognized. The Good Samaritan Chronicles want to celebrate the deeds big and small that make a difference in our community.

To do this, we need your help. We need you to share.

For at least the next three months we will collect your Good Samaritan stories. On the first Sunday of each month we will publish some of these. They will appear on Page 1, our Sunday Perspectives page and in our Good Times section. You can follow the chronicles on our special Web page, semissouran.com/goodsamaritanchronicles, where you can share your stories and help us map all of these good deeds in our communities. You can also follow the chronicles, or share your own on our Facebook page, facebook.com/goodsamaritanchronicles.

If you would rather, mail your stories to:

Southeast Missourian

P.O. Box 699

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

C/o Lucas Presson

All submissions must include your name and hometown. You can submit as many times as you'd like. There is a 150-word limit.

Thank you for your interest in this project. We're excited to hear about all of the goodness going on in Southeast Missouri.

There's plenty of things to complain about in today's world. But there are many good things happening as well. Help us shine the light on the goodness in our community.