Amazon “Sponsored Product” Slots in Baby Registries Lead to Unwanted Gifts
Companies have paid for “sponsored” slots in Amazon’s baby registries, leading users to purchase items without realizing they are advertisements, not gifts suggested by the parents.
This type of user interface, which is arguably designed to trick people, is known as a dark pattern. Confusing or deceptive website ads aren’t a new phenomenon, but rather one that has been called out as early as 2010.
Start Your Reporting:
Localize this story by looking for dark patterns in your own region—or that affect people in your region.
This type of story is where crowdsourcing can be quite effective. Ask your readers what they’ve noticed, and then investigate the local sites or businesses they’re calling out. Are there specific demographics that are targeted? How do the companies responsible respond?
Conversely, what are examples of local business that are going above and beyond to be transparent in their marketing efforts?
The Newest Airport Ride Might Be… a Bicycle
Some cities are making it easier for people to ride their bikes to the airport, according to an article in The New Your Times. And it’s not just travelers, either—a growing number of airport employees are cycling to work, too.
Start your reporting:
How bike-friendly is your local airport? Are there bicycle racks? Bike lanes or paths to get to the airport? Bike-sharing options nearby for people visiting from out of town? Public transportation options that permit bikes on board to that allow travelers who live further out bike part of the way?
How has cycling changed in your area? Has there been an increase in electric bikes and cargo bikes? Have urban planners looked at the possibility of improving bike accessibility to cut down on traffic congestion to and from the airport?
Women Earn Only 49 Cents To The Typical Man’s Dollar, Multi-Year Analysis Indicates
Women earn 51 percent less than men in a 15-year-time span, according to a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The study, which analyzed 45 years of data from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics, found that the penalties for taking time out of the labor force are steep—and are steeper for women than men.
Start Your Reporting:
What steps are companies in your region taking to help narrow the gap? Are there companies offering paid family and medical leave?
Is there affordable child care in your area? How does the gig economy and advent of entrepreneurship factor in?
What changes have occurred in the labor force in your area in the past five to 10 years? Are there any indicators that it might change going forward?