Pole vaulting takes center stage on Beale Street

Good morning and happy Monday!

This is Executive Editor Mark Russell, and you're reading the Daily Briefing, our one-stop digital shop for the best Memphis stories from our award-winning Commercial Appeal team.

For one night Saturday on Beale Street, clearing the bar took center stage over going to the bar.

The historic downtown entertainment district was turned into a pole vaulting venue for 17 professional pole vaulters Saturday as it hosted the first street pole vault in the state of Tennessee as part of this year's Ed Murphey Classic, Alexis Davis reports.

The professional track and field meet has grown in size and prestige since it began six years ago, but this was a spectacle unlike anything those who crowded the street in front of Alfred's had seen before, Alexis wrote.

While The Commercial Appeal is still far below the community's diversity, our newsroom staff diversity improved in the last year. Africans Americans make up 29% of the newsroom, compared with 22.2% at this time a year ago. The percentage of women in the newsroom rose to 45.2% compared with 37% a year ago, I wrote in a recent column.

While we are going in the right direction, we have more work to do to match the diversity in our coverage area as you well see in this column.

The Commercial Appeal and the USA Today Network South Digital Optimization Team won two awards in The Green Eyeshade contest, an 11-state journalism competition that honors the best work in the southeast.

The two awards honored "Memphis False Confession," an in-depth feature written by Daniel Connolly and published last year.

In case you missed it: JA Moore and Chris Singleton both lost loved ones in the Mother Emanuel massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, seven years ago. They turned their pain into purpose and now work toward change, Danielle Dreilinger and Angela Dennis report from our sister newsroom in South Carolina.

As you start the work week, think about whether you : work at a great place. If the answer is yes, wee want to hear from you for this year's Top Workplaces program. Nominations will be through Aug. 19. You can find out more about how Top Workplaces works here.

If you want to keep up with the tastiest news in Bluff City, sign up for our Eat Drink Memphis weekly newsletter for a hearty serving of stories on everything from restaurants to recipes. You can sign up here.

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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Pole vaulting Beale Street competition Memphis entertaiment