Reynolds Weekly: June 3, 2019

by June 3, 2019

Last week was big in business news. We’ve compiled some story angles to help you get started in your local coverage. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)
Tariff–ying news for U.S.-Mexico trade?

President Trump announced late last week that he plans to impose a 5% tariff on all goods coming from Mexico, the U.S.’s southern neighbor and third largest trading partner. Tariffs are scheduled to go into effect June 10, and analysts say they will likely put pressure on a variety of U.S. industries.

How to start your reporting:

Use your reporting skills to zoom in on industries most likely to be affected in your area. If you live in a state that is a popular tourist destination for Mexican citizens, look into your area’s hospitality and tourism industry. The U.S. trade war with China contributed to a sizable dip in Chinese tourism to the U.S. It’s worth finding out if the same could happen with tourism from Mexico.  

The auto sector is also expected to get hit. Car manufacturers rely on parts from Mexico and analysts are expecting those costs to fall on consumers. The U.S. is the world’s second largest auto market after China, so higher costs could impact Americans across the country. Talk to sources in the auto industry. How high do they expect prices to rise? Might consumers opt for second hand vehicles instead?

La Croix fizzles out

Sales of the lightly flavored carbonated beverage began falling rapidly since the end of 2018 and has been dropping ever since. In May, La Croix sales went down by 15%. Market analysts cite greater competition within the sparkling beverage industry, edging out the once popular brand.

How to start your reporting:

Finding out what’s up with La Croix in your area could be a short, interesting trend piece. Talk to local distributers and see how they’re reacting to the news. Are they purchasing less La Croix or has your market been immune to the national trend?

Find out what the kids are drinking. Young millennials and Gen Zers are the colorfully-packaged beverage’s target market. It might be interesting to quote a loyal La Croix drinker, and maybe a Topo Chico or Perrier convert in your piece.

Ridesharing industry on the skids

Shortly after going public, the rideshare giant, Uber lost $1 billion in its first quarter. This comes amid unpopular news that Uber may soon ban riders with poor driver reviews, as well as a study from Consumer Report which indicates 1 in every 6 Uber and Lyft vehicles on the road have an unaddressed recall notice from its manufacturer. Drivers have been striking for higher pay, and it seems a news story comes out every few days about a driver who murdered or sexually assaulted a passenger, or vice-versa. How much will this string of bad news hurt the ride sharing industry in your area?

How to start your reporting:

Depending on what part of the country you live in, this could be big news. In rural areas, ridesharing is a less practical transportation option than in dense urban areas, so it hasn’t quite taken off. But if you live in a city like New York, San Jose or San Francisco (where both companies are based), this might be a story worth looking into.

You could survey drivers and ask them about their experiences. Have they seen pay cuts and how is that affecting their budgets? Are they happy with the company, or do they want to see changes?

This could be a good story to conduct some man-on-the-street style interviews. Ask those who use ridesharing apps if recent controversies impact their willingness to use app-based transportation.