In my reading for Vital Speeches of the Day, I came across a good speech by Peter Steinfels, the religion columnist for The New York Times. He explains a difficulty of writing on religion: "Religious leaders are uncomfortable about acknowledging conflict among their faithful or within their teachings."
For serious media, no less than for radio or TV trash talkers, the first bridge to be built is that to readers and viewers. Like it or not, a major element of that bridge is going to be conflict. It is a truism that readers and viewers are not interested in learning that New York’s commuters made it to work again this morning—unless, that is, the commuters were struggling against a snowstorm or escaping a fire or trapped in a crime scene.
Whether we do reporting, punditry, analysis, or criticism, those of us in the media traffic in stories. And a major element of a good story, as you will learn in Creative Writing 101, is conflict. We focus on conflict not only because readers or audience crave it but also because they deserve it. The conflicts that they face or wish to avoid are important to them, precisely what they want to know.
I'm going to use that passage, especially the part I've bolded, with corporate clients who want great stories, but without the conflict.
Sorry, darlings. There are no such things.