A Swimming/Summer Story Idea

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.

Here’s part of the post:

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.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Poynter.org. Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at mjtenore@gmail.com.

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