The tragic crash of the Asiana Air flight in San Francisco last week is big news. And it should be — it is rare for a passenger jetliner to crash on landing.

On the other hand, thousands of planes take off every day, flying across vast expanses of land and sea, then touch down safely on the runway. We don’t hear about all those routine flights, of course.

They aren’t news. It’s like the old journalism school example: Dog Bites Man — yawn.

But Man Bites Dog? Now, there’s a story!

It’s just like last week, when I left for Harrisburg, Ill., to talk to some folks who were sprucing up the facilities of the Saline County Fair. Just before leaving, I checked the mailbox and found a letter from the secretary of state’s office.

It was a commendation, a safe driver award. Because I hadn’t had a moving violation in a long time — actually well more than 20 years — I could renew my driver’s license online or through the mail.

I didn’t have to come in to the office, take a number, wait an interminable length of time and then take an exam or whatever else normally would have been required.

Pleased with my accomplishment, I grabbed my camera and other gear, got in my car and took off for Harrisburg. And I immediately received a speeding ticket — the officer apparently wasn’t impressed with my safe driving commendation.

Anyway, the visit to the fairgrounds in Harrisburg quickly brought me out of the minor funk I had gotten myself into on the way there. I was met with the sight of bustling activity.

Several adults and dozens of young people were hard at work, scraping and putting a fresh coat of paint on rails in the livestock barn, barrels and other metal structures. It truly was inspiring to see so many rural residents working together to infuse pride into what for them is a central part of their community — the county fair.

To major media outlets, of course, that’s not newsworthy, especially contrasted with the Leap Day tornado that hit the city last year.

Eight people were killed in that disaster, with many more injured and rendered homeless. Dozens of homes and businesses were obliterated.

The tornado was major national news, of course, while the fairground volunteerism likely won’t get a lot of ink outside of local media outlets and AgriNews.

But it is important. News doesn’t always have to be about bad things.