The Debutante Ball in San Francisco welcomes approximately 3,000 guests every year. Of these invitees, many are patrons of the city, or members of historically prominent families. Due to this, the San Francisco Chronicle and the local magazine, The Nob Hill Gazette, send delegates every year to chronicle any significant events and note any big name appearances.
"Even though I've attend numerous fashion shows, I've never seen anything like this..." -The San Francisco Chronicle
These articles typically contain photos of the event as well as brief explanations of it, as many San Franciscans are not particularly familiar with the tradition. For some families, being mentioned in these articles is a sort
of accomplishment or goal; getting a photo in means you have achieved some level of importance.
A picture of me and my escort was included in the article in the Nob Hill Gazette. My family found it funny and entertaining, and saved copies of the magazine as a keepsake, but did not see it as any sort of earned privilege. Nonetheless, both my family and my escort's family have been in San Francisco for at least four generations, and I have to imagine our ancestors might have taken some amusement or even joy in seeing the two of us published in the magazine together, our names captioned.
Every family has different perceptions and opinions of the media coverage, but none of that changes the front-row of chairs that are always reserved specifically for "Members of the Media." Like it or not, the reporters also have a solidified role in the evening.