The tragic death of teenager Tahl Southwick has touched many.

At 18 years old, the former Karamu High School leader died last week when her car and a truck collided on Farndon Rd.

As I drove along the same road yesterday a tearful group of young people had gathered at the crash site to pay their respects.

Calamities like this tend to end up as headline platitude and cliches of misery and loss. Thus, the question is whether there's any merit in depicting such trauma.

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Even Pope Francis stepped into the fray this year and decried what he said was a tendency for media to focus on "bad news," claiming journalists should also look for "messages of hope" in their reporting.

No one really knows the degree of change public media has on public education. It's an aspirational notion. Yet the objective in reporting these events is, of course, to serve the public good - a good not decided by the individual consumer, but by society.

Death, and its frequency on our roads, surely fits that criteria.

Tahl's bereft mother, Helen Morris, graciously allowed us into her home last week where she made public a broken heart - and a desire to redress the blackspot on Farndon Rd.

Anyone with teenage children (and hopefully the teenagers themselves) who have just learnt to drive, will have read every word.

So, while I'm loathe to disagree with His Holiness, I'd like to think Ms Morris' courage, and her daughter's legacy, are proof that "bad news" stories are not always without hope.