Reynold’s Weekly: April 22, 2019

by April 22, 2019

Looking for business stories to cover? We’ve put together a list of resources and story ideas you can use in your reporting. (Photo by Pixabay user Free-Photos)

Ridesharing Drivers Concerned About Wages

Lyft and Uber drivers have said that while riders are paying higher fees during price surges, that money is not being passed onto the drivers, The Guardian reported. Drivers have stated that they’re earning significantly less than they used to. Lyft recently became a public company and Uber will follow suit.

Start Your Reporting

Digging into IPO filings and financial documents is always a good starting point, but talking to drivers in your area about their own experiences can humanize this story.

You can also use this and other news hooks (such as Uber admitting that it’s targeting public transit users) to revisit previous reporting on ridesharing in your area.

Also, see our posts on covering the impact of ridesharing and covering dockless scooters and bikes.

The Pew Research Center also has a lot of information on ridesharing and the gig economy.

Pilot Program Allows Online Grocery Shopping with Food Stamps

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a pilot program in New York that allows users to buy groceries online with food stamps. The program will expand to Alabama, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington.

Start Your Reporting

Have online food retailers such as Amazon and Walmart already impacted your local economy? How much impact will these changes have?

Are there people in your region who don’t have access to fresh, healthy food? Could these changes help mitigate that?

Good sources include people on food stamps as well as spokespersons at  non-profit organizations working to assist people living in food deserts.

Measles Outbreak in Brooklyn

There have been 555 individual measles cases spanning 20 states this year, which the Centers for Disease Control states is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the country since measles was eliminated in 2000. This past week, the New York City Board of Health voted to extend a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn as it continues to struggle with the outbreak. The mandate requires residents of the Williamsburg neighborhood who are over six months of age to get vaccinated or pay a $1,000 fine.

Start Your Reporting

Covering measles on the business beat requires a look at the costs involved, which are estimated to be between $2.7 and $5.3 million per community. For more information on the costs involved, The True Cost of Measles Outbreaks in the Postelimination Era, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s study. NPR’s Planet Money also covered the cost of measles.

Measles cases and outbreaks are updated each week by the Centers for Disease Control. It also lists the jurisdictions in which there are ongoing measles outbreaks (defined as three or more cases of measles). Keep track of the cases in your area and any legislation in the books or being voted on.