A Father’s Pride

Today’s front page of the Winnipeg Free Press (WFP) showed retired officer Stan Smyth embracing his son, Winnipeg’s new police chief, Danny Smyth.

When I think about a newsworthy story, I think about the ‘elements of newsworthiness’ we’ve learned in PR: proximity, prominence, impact, human interest, consequence, currency, conflict, etc.

It seems as though the WFP ran a few front page articles this week of Danny Smyth. After all, he is the newly chosen police chief of Winnipeg. Now, that is impact. It’s impact because of proximity. The story is an easy front page piece in the WFP because of its relevance to the area.

The currency of this story is also a major factor in it being front page. It is current. He was chosen only days ago, and he’ll be featured in many more stories up until his official swearing-in on Nov. 8.

The more we learn about Danny Smyth, the more his prominence goes up as well. He is days away from being appointed the top police position, therefore he now embodies prominence for a story. He has become instantly well-known (in Winnipeg) because of his new-found position. He is the new face of our police service.

This man’s decisions and actions will affect the hundreds of thousands of citizens in our city. This story has consequence! Is he to be trusted with the burden of making critical decisions regarding our police force? His appointment will lead to definite consequences for crime in our city.

Let’s see if this article tells us more about him. 

*I read the article*

Why is his father embracing him in the article photo? The story is an interview with Stan Smyth, Danny’s father, talking about the life of his son (who followed in his footsteps). Stan was also a Winnipeg police officer. This has human interest written all over it. Or the attempt of it anyway. It is trying to strike an emotional chord with the reader. Danny’s a family man. The article talks about the whole family, Stan as a loving husband and father, Danny as a boy, and about both of their career decisions. Another picture in the article is of Stan holding a photo of himself as an officer back in the day and a more recent photo of Danny as one. Oh, the humanity! It delves into every emotional family aspect they have to offer.

Anyway, my verdict: the story’s very newsworthy!

Read the story here: Like Father, Like Son (beware the WFP pay-wall, or just register and pay).


(Blog Challenge #6: Choose a story from the front page of the Winnipeg Free Press and discuss what makes it newsworthy. What about this story made the editorial staff decide to give it front-page attention?)


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