A Swimming/Summer Story Idea
by Mallary Tenore Tarpley
I just wrote a Diversity at Work post, “Bridging the Minority Swimming Gap,” about a new study that found that 58 percent of black children can’t swim compared with 31 percent of Caucasian children. One reader, who is a teacher, pointed out to me that the word “pool” in my article could just as easily be replaced with “school.” Interesting thought. Now that I’ve presented this idea, I wonder how many reporters will read it and use it as a story idea.
The minority swimming gap is a story worth localizing. With summer vacation approaching, you may want to visit your local pools and see what the demographics there are. If the majority of children are white, what are children of other races/ethnicities doing instead? How does the cost of private pools affect the demographics of families who swim there? How does all this tie into pool safety? What does a day in the life of a public pool v. a private pool look like?
Exploring such questions can help turn a report about a survey’s findings into a story about the people behind the numbers.