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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Media (in any form) (11/11/10)

TITLE: Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
By Judy Lawhon


“Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Savior born in Bethlehem!” The young boy dashed through the streets of the city, waving the papers in the air. This was a big news day, and he wanted to make as much money as possible from it. Men on their way to their shops and their market stalls stopped to offer him a coin, and then stood in small groups discussing this amazing event.

Women headed for market or to wash their clothes stopped to talk and shook their heads in wonder. Could this really be? The big event had been talked about for so long; was it possible God had really sent the long-promised Savior? But as a baby? It just didn’t make any sense.

But then, you know you can never trust the media. It’s been said they take a thread of truth and turn it into a national story. Sure, there was a baby born to that carpenter and young girl who were housed in a stable because the innkeeper had no more beds. But so were lots of other people who had made this journey to pay their taxes.

My editor sent me out to get more of the story. “Get over to Bethlehem and get the facts--and hurry,“ he ordered.

It was a long day’s journey. I asked directions of a street vendor who was just putting away his wares. Following his directions, I rounded the street corner and headed into the alley where the barn was, I looked around me and hesitantly continued. Was I safe? It seemed quite dark and dreary.

Until I saw the light and the activity. The barn was lit with lanterns and several people were milling about. Sheep were making their baaing sound, as though they were discussing this big event as well. The shepherds peered into the building, and one fell on his knees as though in awe of this baby!

A very young, very tired-looking woman held the child. I pushed my way through the crowd saying, “I’m a reporter, This is important, I need to talk to her.”

She told me her name was Mary and introduced me to her husband Joseph. I got out my writing materials and in a very professional voice asked the usual questions--”Where are you from? What do you do for a living? How long did it take you to get here? How long will you stay?”

Important information maybe, but I was missing the point entirely. Time to get to the nitty gritty. “You say this is the Savior, promised by God? How do you know? Can you prove it?” I asked gruffly.

Mary looked at the baby and then glanced at me shyly. “God told me,” she said softly. Joseph nodded his head in agreement.

I needed more. So I turned to the shepherd who was on his knees. “And who do you think this is?” I asked. “My Lord and Savior,” he said.

“And how do you know that?” I added. “God showed us through an angel,” he answered.

Three richly dressed, royal looking men arrived just then. I asked them why they were there, and they said, “We brought gifts to our King and Savior.”

“Your King! How do you know this?” I asked. “God showed us a star and told us to follow it to our Savior. And here we are,” the men told me.

As I looked back at the sleeping baby, I started to feel uncomfortable. I realized I had come to get this story with a sense that it could not be true, and I wanted to disprove it. I wasn’t being objective. How could a reporter be objective when it seemed so illogical and far-fetched?

I began to waiver in my conviction, and a voice inside me said, “It’s true, believe.” The voice of God? I felt so peaceful. My editor wanted concrete facts. This story was based on faith.

At that moment I knew it was true. I believed. Jesus was born. My Savior had arrived. End of story.

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This article has been read 358 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/20/10
You did a nice job reporting the news of the Lord's birth.
Noel Mitaxa 11/21/10
This built up my curiosity and I enjoyed the creativity of secular stance in your approach to the story. Sadly the word limit compressed your great build-up, so you were rushed at the end. There's another flow-on story here but, with our next topic referring to telephones, I guess we'll have to wait a little longer. Very enjoyable read.
Lillian Rhoades 11/21/10
As it's been said, the ending was a let-down. I was all into it until the last paragraph of two. Nevertheless, a nice modern touch to the "scoop" of all times.