Monday, May 14, 2007

All-Star mother: Did our story send a message?

Lively comments have been posted in reaction to our Saturday front-page story, "An all-star mother." The story, by senior staff writer Brian Milne, tells how Cal Poly softball player Shannon Brooks has juggled mothering her 9-month-old daughter Alannah with playing for the Mustangs softball team this spring.
Some Web viewers questioned our news judgment, especially with the story running on Mother's Day weekend.
Here was one post from an anonymous reader:
"The Telegram Tribune putting an article on the front page celebrating an unwed mother for mothers day? Sick. "
In another posting, a viewer named John wondered if we could have found a more deserving woman to highlight -- one who was married. Shannon and her fiance, Poly football player Julai Tuua, plan to get married this summer.
Shannon's story was not the only one we had this past weekend recognizing motherhood. We published a front-page story on Sunday about a Paso Robles couple who are foster parents to 11 children.
We highlighted both stories because they are inspirational -- they show people like you and me acting with courage, grace, determination and dedication in the face of long odds.
They also both shared the quality of being unusual. It is not often that foster parents take in 11 children at a time, or that a full-time athlete in a high-caliber college program has to be a full-time mom at the same time. Or that the team itself embraces mother, dad and daughter like the Cal Poly softball women did this season with Shannon, Julai and Alannah.
When stories are inspirational and unusual, they make for good storytelling and thus good journalism.
_ Tad Weber


Anonymous said...

Maybe the same people who complain that she isn't married should stop and think what she could have done with her pregnancy and be thankful she had the courage to go forward and become a mother.

Tracy said...

I personally found the article very uplifting. Here are two young college students, both high-achieving athletes, who were presented with a situation they had not planned for. Instead of running away, taking the easy way out, or making excuses, they supported each other through the process and are proud, loving parents to a beautiful, baby girl. The fact that the father stood by the mother is commendable; I can't say that for a lot of married couples who experience unplanned pregnancies. I wish them the best in their future marriage, parenthood, and life.