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First baby of the year stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Baron Scicluna, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Every paper does them. And usually they're basic stories, with a photo of the happy nice-looking couple with their newborn.

    But every once in a while, it's not so easy. My favorite from a former paper: Our editor for several days was getting the reporting staff and photogs geared up for the first baby, warning them that it may come on New Year's Day, when they'd have to work (company didn't have a paper on that day), and having them call the hospital for constant updates. This was going to run on the front page.

    Well, finally, the first baby was born. Only there was a bit of a snag. The mother was a 14-year-old girl, who needless to say, didn't have a husband. Instead of a front-page story with a big centerpiece photo, only a small photo ran on page 5.

    Anyone have any unique first baby stories?
  2. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    I had an editor who used to tell a story about being in West Virginia and having a "dad" show up twice in three years with two different women. She caught the story and turned it into the piece that landed her the job at the paper I was at. I never saw her piece, but she went and interviewed him and made him look like a real dead beat.
  3. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    Interviewing grieving families is a snap compared to first baby stories. Had to do one one year and I walk into the hospital room. The mom is there with two big tough looking guys near the bed. The hospital flack hadn't done much prep so it was up to me to a) find out who the dad was; b) why he wasn't there; c) what the mom's relationship to him was (husband, fiance, boyfriend, ex) and all this with the mom's two brothers giving me the evil eye times two. Happy New Year.
    Needless to say - the joy of that experience was only topped by the phone calls I received the following day saying I was glorifying illegal immigrants and we shouldn't be writing about unmarried mothers. Instead we should have written about the first baby born to a married couple who could prove they were citizens.

    There was other ugliness when I did a story about families trying to have the first baby of the millenium, whether 2000 or 2001, it didn't matter - asking about their conception efforts was an experience I'm glad I won't have to go through again.
  4. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Gosh, I really thought those days of :married white woman" were over.

    Guess I am too much of an optimist.

    The first baby at our local hospital, and the first in the Greater Albany area, were both botn ro 19-year-old mothers. One had not even called the father hours after the baby was born, and it appeared neither was married.

    The New York Post had a great story about an anti-terrorism cop who was in a securty briefing for working Times Square when he got the call from his wife, and theirs was the first baby of the New Year in New York City.
  5. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Our editor has outlawed this story, thank god.
  6. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    There was an interesting one this year.

    But there were twins born, one was the last baby born in 2009 and the other was the first in 2010.

  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I'm sure my paper will do one. And I bet the mom wasn't married.
  8. Hoo

    Hoo Active Member


    Honestly, this is the same industry that whines constantly about how "they'll miss us when we're gone"?
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Two of my good friends back home gave birth to the county's first babies of a New Year...one in 1999, the other in 2002. The one in '99 missed being the first baby in the entire state of CT by about 10 minutes.
  10. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    The last 3 years in a row, our area's first baby has been born to an underage mother. What makes it worse is that a bunch of area businesses have a prize package that goes to the baby and the family, so it makes it look like "Have a baby while underage and watch the prizes roll in."
  11. Are there any openings at your shop?!

    I had to the do first baby story last year ... Single mom.
    First baby stories are really (fucking) cute until they fall outside the norm. Single, unmarried mom, non-white, or bi-racial couple or any other situation that is outside the parameters of some little old lady's concept of morality.

    I hate theses stories.
  12. ??
    Are you saying these are must-do stories?
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