Reynolds Weekly: April 8, 2019

by April 8, 2019
How much you know about the finances of food waste? Take our quiz. ("Vegetables" image by "chrizzel_lu" via pixabay CCO Public Domain)

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

 

Weekend Produce Inspections to End at Arizona Border

Federal officials said they will halt inspections of commercial trucks on Sundays, according to the Arizona Republic. This could raise prices of fruits and vegetables, and possibly even lead to temporary shortages of tomatoes, watermelon and squash. Manufactured goods, both imports and exports, may also be affected.

Start Your Reporting

How this affects food in your region requires some reporting, so tap into your connections with grocers and distributors, as well as the communities most impacted by these changes.

To learn more about resources such as the freight analysis framework from the Center for Transportation Analysis and the USDA Food Environment Atlas, see our post on how to untangle local food webs.

 

Microsoft Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims

Women working at Microsoft shared stories of sexual harassment and discrimination in an email chain spanning more than 90 pages, according to Quartz. The chain also alleged mishandling by Microsoft’s HR department. Microsoft’s head of human resources responded after dozens of emails on the chain, promising to look into claims.

Start Your Reporting

Microsoft employs workers in the Bay Area, Seattle, Vancouver and New York. There are also various development and technology centers located across the country. It may be possible to find a local spin if you’re reporting in or near one of these locations.

There might be technology firms in your area that have taken steps to operate differently, accounting for the proliferation of these types of incidents. This could be an opportunity to profile companies that are working to address and respond to these issues.

Stories about sexual harassment and gender disparity can include details on reporting processes and whether there are ways to report safely, anonymously and without retaliation. So long as pay and opportunity disparity in the tech industry exists, covering it is always an option as well.

For more ideas, see our series on the #MeToo movement and everyday industries.

 

Target Raises Its Minimum Wage

Target is raising the minimum hourly pay for its workers to $13 an hour, with plans to increase to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.

Start Your Reporting

Tap into the local debate about minimum wages in your area by tying your reporting to this or another larger story. You can look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics or local advocacy groups to put your own state’s minimum wage in context.

There are Target stores almost everywhere, so covering the effects of this wage increase in your area is always a possibility. Will this affect local stores with lower wages? Interviews could include not just economists and academics, but also business executives, workers and local industry groups.