A Derby Telegraph photographer scored a front-page by-line with an exclusive follow-up on the fire that killed six children in the city.
As police continued to probe the blaze that claimed the lives of all six children of Mick and Mairead Philpott, Leah McLaren secured an interview with Rachel Henson, who herself lost her four children in a house fire last year.
In the interview Rachel revealed that she was five months pregnant, saying she hoped her news could offer a “glimmer of hope” to the Philpotts.
The resulting story made the splash and meant a rare front-page by-line for a member of the photographic team.
Editor Steve Hall said: “This was a very difficult story, involving approaching a mother who, only a few months ago, lost her four children in a fire to ask her thoughts on a blaze that had just robbed another family of their six children.
“Leah had taken the original pictures of Rachel Henson and we believed that this previous association might make our approach easier.
“The idea paid off handsomely, with Leah uncovering the line that Rachel is now expecting another child – and her belief that this news might offer some hope to the latest victims that there can be life after such a terrible tragedy.
Added Steve: “The idea of photographers writing as well as taking images is something that we are actively pursuing. It’s in everyone’s interests for all staff to be as flexible and multi-talented as possible.
“Our snappers already routinely write caption stories for stand-alone show pictures. It is our intention that, over time, this should be as unremarkable as we now find the idea of a reporter carrying a point-and-shoot camera.”