Reynolds Weekly: Friday, February 15, 2019

by February 16, 2019

Looking for business stories to cover? We’ve taken recent headlines and put together a list of resources and angles you can use for your local coverage. (Image by Pixabay user rawpixel)

Airlines Will Add Non-Binary Gender Ticketing Options

Southwest, United, Delta, Alaska, and American Airlines will be adding “undisclosed” and “unspecified” to their gender options when booking tickets. United is first in line to make the change, and will additionally offer ‘Mx.’ as a title for individuals who don’t identify with a gender.

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Airlines aren’t the first to make these types of changes. Banks are, too. JP Morgan Chase’s digital banking app, Finn, asks bankers for their preferred names, which may not match their birth names. Amalgamated Bank accepts New York City identification cards that allow customers to choose a “non-designated” gender category. Keep an eye out for local examples you can cover in an inclusive way.

Some resources for journalists to cover trans issues in a more inclusive way include GLAAD’s media reference guide and glossary of terms on covering the transgender community. Trans Media Watch has a 12-page guide on understanding non-binary people. NLGJA, the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, has a stylebook supplement on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer terminology. It is intended to complement the Associated Press stylebook and individual publication stylebooks.

JPMorgan Chase Introduces its Own Cryptocurrency

The bank had already released a blockchain platform to track financial data, and is now introducing a token of its own. Many have been attracted to cryptocurrency because it is decentralized, but JPMorgan will control its JPM Coin ledger and back coins by dollars in its accounts, so it won’t have the same price volatility as other cryptocurrencies. It is in a testing phase and is being designed for business-to-business use.

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Reporting on local cryptocurrency startups should be done in context of what major players are doing. It’s never a bad time to develop a better understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Start with our reporter’s briefing on cryptocurrency and blockchain. To keep up-to-date with all things crypto, check out the Unchained podcast by Laura Shin. For style questions, see security consulting firm Bishop Fox’s Cybersecurity Style Guide.

Amazon’s New York Campus Plans Scrapped

Amazon’s plans to build a $2.5 billion campus in Queens fell through dramatically in a Valentine’s Day announcement on the company’s blog. The deal had included nearly 3 billion dollars in tax incentives.

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Although Amazon’s blog states that it doesn’t intend to reopen the second headquarter search at this time, it will proceed as planned in Nashville and North Virginia. Regional reports can use this opportunity to see whether the fears of critics are borne out.

But this could have implications beyond just Amazon. A CNN post asks whether backlash against Amazon’s tax breaks in New York City could kill other deals. A small school board in Louisiana turned down a $2.9 million tax break for Exxon Mobile, for example, but other deals that have been heavily criticized (such as Foxconn in Wisconsin) are still going through, according to the post. Tax breaks offered to big businesses and perhaps how different stakeholders are responding to proposals locally are worth investigating.