Reynolds Weekly: Monday, September 24, 2018

by September 24, 2018

As the trade relationship between the United States and China heats up, there are numerous business stories to localize. (Photo via

China Imposes Trade Tariffs On American Goods

China hit back on President Trump’s $200 billion duties on Chinese imports, responding with some trade tariffs of its own: $60 billion tariffs on American goods, to be precise. This is the third round of tariffs the U.S. has imposed against China this year, and it’s threatening another round in response to any retaliation.

Start Your Reporting

Ask yourself: How do these tariffs impact local businesses or workers in your region? Has it led to downsizing? For example, the Star Tribune took a look at the impact on small businesses in Minnesota. Back in July, MPR News interviewed farmers about their fears as soybean tariffs took effect.

Are prices of certain goods rising in your area in response to this? Are consumers feeling the impact on their pocketbooks? Bloomberg took a look at how food and clothes might become pricier. In July, the Hill rounded up local news coverage in response to the tariffs in Alaska to South Carolina and hinted at impact in Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio

What industry groups can you reach out to? Axios interviewed spokespersons and CEOs from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Manufacturers, and more. It also pointed to six days of hearings hosted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Digging into the organization’s Section 301 Hearings is a great way to start investigating.

Facebook Lets Job Advertisers Only Target Men

15 employers in the past year, including Uber, have targeted Facebook job ads to exclusively men or women, according to a ProPublica report.

Start Your Reporting

The ACLU, Communications Workers of America and the firm Outten & Golden have filed an EEOC complaint, which named 10 employers that it says advertised jobs solely to men. The employers included a global software developer, a home security systems installer, an employment agency, a window replacement and installation company, a home furniture retailer, an independent movie company, a movie company, a roofing and remodeling company, an athletics equipment manufacturer, a tire retailer and auto repair service provider, and a police department. An obvious first step might be to look up the companies in question and determine if any of them are based in your region, or have a strong presence there, and digging deeper into other complaints, lawsuits or irregularities among those companies.

Targeting ads solely to men may have an impact on how much women get paid compared to me, which is another area ripe for assessment. See our tips on covering the gender wage gap. Reporting online has discussed the equity gap and the stock options gap as well.  

Employment discrimination isn’t only about gender. Check out our tips on reporting on older workers and age discrimination, too.

Cannabis Stocks Face Volatility

There’s been so much volatility, in fact, that one site compared marijuana stocks to Bitcoin. Still, even massive price swings can pique interest, so now is as good a time as any to revisit covering marijuana locally.

Start Your Reporting

Marijuana reporting is regionally specific since so much of it is dependent on local laws, leading to coverage of legal issues, such as foster parents not being allowed to hold medical marijuana cards, for example, or hemp-derived CBD being sold in northwest Arkansas while medical marijuana lags. The Salt Lake Tribune even looked at how many Mormons use marijuana. The health angles often intersect with business reporting and even coverage of public policy. Journalists have looked at everything from its effects on suicide rates and traffic deaths.

An easy way to start is to read our post, 10 Business of Marijuana Story Angles You Can Localize, or the follow-up, Reporting Cannabis: 5 New Story Ideas. Check out three of our podcast episodes to get tips on covering the business of marijuana and the entire industry: How to Cover Money Episode 24: Covering the Business of Pot, How to Cover Money Episode 26: Covering the Marijuana Industry, and How to Cover Money Episode 25: The Business of the Marijuana Industry.