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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon with reporters
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Know your place as a business journalist

When I was young, I was covering the historic Texaco-Pennzoil trial in Houston. At one point, James Kinnear, the president of Texaco sought me out and we had a great conversation. He left me his card and wrote his private telephone number on it (this was pre-cell phone days). I felt important. “Never forget where […]

CDC database for Vessel Sanitation Program
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Quicktip stories: Home-prices to cruise ship inspection details

Time flies on news-heavy weeks and the “ones that got away” pile of good stories to localize is growing at an annoying clip.  (Among the missed opportunities, to my chagrin, was this Ragan’s PR Daily piece on tacky MLK Day marketing if you want to add it to next year’s tickler file.)  So before the following are added […]

Truckers stuck in snow
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Quicktip: Is winter’s deep freeze leading to empty fuel tanks, other shortages?

Zooming along at a slippery 30 mph this morning, I tuned into a satellite radio trucker channel; an open-line program drew callers from around the United States reporting on problems big rigs were facing. My ears pricked up when one driver listed a string of truck stops in Illinois and Indiana that were out of […]

CNN extreme weather photos
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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?

It’ll take something pretty amazing to compete for headlines with the extreme weather outbreak ongoing this week across much of the United States.  When people are trying to make it through the daily commute and  other activities despite zero-degree temperatures, another half-foot of snow and other manifestations of Mother Nature, they won’t be in the […]

Motorola wearable scanner
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Package up a feature on trends in the delivery service industry

As parcels filled with holiday goods and gifts begin winging their way ’round the globe, the package delivery industry gets its moment in the spotlight. Even as Americans forego first-class mail in favor of electronic greeting cards and missives, the allure of e-commerce keeps delivery vans hopping.  There was that intriguing news the other day – […]

Truckers and sleep apnea: Pending law should be easy to localize
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Truckers and sleep apnea: Pending law should be easy to localize

When you think about it, pretty much everything in our homes or offices was on a truck at some point, so it always surprises me that a trucking beat isn’t a greater part of transportation coverage by most business desks.  About 1.6 million Americans make a livings as a heavy- or tractor-trailer truck operator, according […]

How to cover a plane crash: What you need to know in a hurry
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How to cover a plane crash: What you need to know in a hurry

The word comes over a police scanner, or in a flash on Twitter, or in a cable news headline: an aircraft has gone down. It is every traveler’s worst night mare, and it can be one for reporters, as well. Today, the word came that an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 had crashed at San Francisco’s […]

Hotel safety risks, claims
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Sensational news shines a light on hotel, travel safety

A rash of headlines about hotel-related accidents and deaths makes one wonder if “staycations” will be gaining in popularity, and a look at safety concerns in lodgings and other vacation-related venues might be an interesting and informative twist on your summer tourism coverage. Recent reports of carbon-monoxide related deaths in the same room of a […]

construction
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Road construction: Spotting local stories in orange-barrel season

Orange-barrel season is in full swing (though actually, the season seems to last year-round lately), and why not put the time you spend in bumper-to-bumper construction traffic to good use?  Creeping along in traffic lately, gazing through the windshield, I’ve spotted a number of potential story angles that would resonate with readers, highlight interesting aspects […]