Story Type: Positive Deviant

Solutions Journalism

Solutions Journalism Network

Woodstock, IL, USA


This collection showcases stories of the story type "positive deviant".

The question these stories answer is: "Who is doing it better with the same resources?".  The stories often feature a secret ingredient that separates one place from others. This may mean who is top-tanking (or near it) in a database. At the same time, positive deviant stories already provide ready-made justifications why this story has been chosen.  

In its series "Toxic Neglect" from October 2015, The Cleveland Plain Dealer explores Rochester, New York, as a positive deviant. In their story "How Rochester Responded to its Lead Poisoning Problem", authors Rachel Dissel and Brie Zeltner show that what separates Rochester's approach from others is simple: Instead of waiting until a child had already been poisoned, the city decided to start looking for lead in rental homes instead.