We once received a tip off (at the last newspaper I worked for) from a guy who had spotted a family of swans walking down the road. “Wow, what a scoop,” I said sarcastically to the editor. “It’s a great story,” she frowned, “get down there.” Indeed it was actually quite a nice story in the end and the picture made the front page the next day.
So yesterday, as I cycled through town, I saw a small crowd gathered and I went over to see what was happening. The police had stopped all traffic down Hyskenstræde due to a rogue swan sitting in the road, and if experience has taught me anything it’s that swans make great front page news. No? So I papped away, whilst all the time wondering which newspaper out of the dozens in Copenhagen is going to want this. Well, avid reader, I can confirm that the answer is zero. Zilch.
Long before I moved over here I was gearing myself up for a newspaper industry that had so many more interesting stories to run than those concerning small family businesses, cake stalls, local fund-raisers and swans. But then that was always one of the reasons I wanted to move to CPH in the first place. A self-promotion, if you will. A city on the world stage has much to talk about.
But here is what I find interesting, and I’ll put it to the masses as a question: What do the readers want? Scandal; politics; celebrities; social injustice… or how about reading about the everyday people and their remarkable stories? Or those normal folk who deserve to get noticed for their hard work or small but important achievements. And in a world full of war, global warming and recession, why is a quirky, fun picture of a swan in the street any less newsworthy than a picture of a famous couple arguing?
So, people of Denmark; let yesterday’s picture of a swan – your national bird – be a gift to you all. A symbol for the everyday people, whose stories never get told but are equally important. To those who raise money for charity; bake cakes for the poor; walk away from their conglomerate slave masters to try and make better lives for themselves and their families; or simply spend years making tiny cardboard villages out of cereal boxes (complete with people) for their own amusement. This is for you.
All I ask is one thing: Simply send this picture – or a link to this blog – to anyone you know who deserves some recognition for their positive actions and deeds; to let them know that someone out there cares.
Share the love, people. Share the swan.