Did you hear about this story reported two days?

Madrid: A 26-year-old woman has been arrested in Spain on suspicion of attempting to murder her newborn baby who had to be rescued from inside a building’s drains, Spain’s Interior Ministry says.

The ministry said the two-day-old boy could have been trapped for 40 hours at a point where the drains of the building’s courtyard converged in the eastern city of Alicante.

It said a neighbour alerted firefighters at 2am (1100 AEST) on Sunday to what was originally thought to be a meowing cat trapped inside the drains.

The firefighters saved the life of the baby, who weighed 2.1 kilograms and was found wrapped in plastic bags.

The baby is said to be in a serious but not life-threatening condition, having suffered bone fractures and other injuries.

Earlier this month I wrote about Baby 59; you remember the baby that was flushed down the toilet in China. Yes you remember, because it was plastered all over the media for days on end.

This baby in Madrid, not so much. I only spotted the article in the World Section of And then after a couple of hours it was gone.

Why? News Agenda at play. China has a one-child policy that I guess many are not comfortable with. China has a high rate of infanticide and abandoned babies which here in Australia we are definitely not comfortable with.

Was Baby 59 just an indication of a bigger societal ill? Of course he was. But there are so many others. Why did Baby 59 resonate?

And this baby in Madrid? Is this poor baby just the victim if a horrible crime and not indicative of a wider societal problem? Maybe so, but how do you feel about that?

Both are shocking stories, even if it is for different reasons. Is one more shocking than the other?

When I did my journalism degree all those years ago the first thing I learnt was News Agenda. There’s are whole raft of things that make up News Agenda; relevance, timeliness, proximity, prominence, conflict, unusual just to name a few.

Media will always report some things and not others.  A little girl being kidnapped will always get front page news as opposed to a 35 year old man.

Always ask the questions, why is this story being reported? Is it in the public’s interest? If by some chance there are some youngsters out there reading this post, always ask the questions.


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