I've spoken to a number of readers recently who have been just plain bummed out by current events. And with all the death and destruction that's been occupying so much of the news lately, how could anyone not understand?

I hear predominantly from readers who care about hard news. I get much more criticism of The Star for being too frivolous than for being too serious.

But there's a need for balance. Around a decade ago, The Star's newsroom often talked about a series of "planks" or guidelines for news coverage, and one of them addressed the need to provide readers with a balanced news experience. That refers to airing multiple points of view, but it also means there is a place for stories about kindness, generosity, and sometimes just plain fun.

I'll be quoting some of these good comments in my column next week, and I've relayed the concerns to the senior newsroom editors. One caller this morning reminded me that there's always good going on in the world, and he'd like The Star to pay more attention to it in the darkest times.