« Cute and Popular Baby Polar Bear Makes Debut | Main | Dog Saves Owner by Performing Heimlich Maneuver »

Story Idea #4: Diversity in the Suburbs

Thanh Truc is an authentic Vietnamese food restaurant located in a strip mall in the affluent suburb of Woodbury that has a population of 88.8 percent Caucasian people and 1.1 percent Asian people. Therefore, why did the owners choose a predominately Caucasian inhabited location for Vietnamese food, and does the strip mall location help the restaurant because it is accessible or does it hurt the restaurant since it is authentic Vietnamese food located in a strip mall? The owners say they live in the city so why didn’t they build the restaurant in Minneapolis where there is a greater mix of races? Finally since this is only one of two Vietnamese food restaurants in Woodbury (the other one being a chain) and there are predominately popular chain restaurants in Woodbury, does this restaurant help bring diversity to the area and what do the people of Woodbury think of this?

1. Hai Phan, owner, Thanh Truc, (651) 436-3431
2. Vince Markell, customer and Woodbury resident, (651) 436-1122
3. Nancy Ngo, restaurant writer, Pioneer Press, (651) 228-5172
(The Pioneer Press has written a few articles on Thanh Truc. I would not interview and quote Nancy Ngo since she is another journalist, but I could use her as a journalistic source to get ideas, find potential sources, and/or verify information.)


Great! Telling a small story well is often very effective. In this case it would be difficult to avoid a sense of obligation to paint the bigger picture: Whatever phenomenon is at work here, is the same trend applicable elsewhere in the Twin Cities suburbs? How about with other Southeast Asian nationalities? (You could probably hold off and not expand further, to elsewhere in the state and non-Asian nationalities.)

The three sources are supposed be people you could quote. I will count this anyway because you have done more than the minimum required research and because you acknowledge that you would not quote the reviewer and you discuss that you would ask her to refer you to other sources. (Remember we're pretending with these story ideas that you're working for a Twin Cities metro daily. If you worked for the same paper as the reviewer, she'd surely help out. If you worked for a competitor, she'd probably tell you to buzz off.)