The question is simple: How effective are EEZs at creating jobs?
However, the answer isn’t so easy. In fact, it’s quite hard. There are just way too many factors in determining how effective something is at creating jobs. Sure, it could have been because of the EEZ, but it could have also been the natural flow of the economic system or a number of other factors. At some point, the question boils down to what type of economics you believe in and whether you think government involvement in job creation is a good thing.
But that is a debate for a different day.
I think this has been one of those cases where you have to start thinking about approaching a story with a different mind set. I think I need t go into the reporting of the story from now on with a more open mind. Marie and I are currently working on getting perspectives from businesses in a few of the 122 EEZs in Missouri. While reporting on these businesses, I’ve been trying to think of their comments with the thinking of how effective they are. This is where I think I’ve gone wrong. What needs to be done is to just take these stories from business owners and tell those stories. Their “effectiveness” I think will come out through these little business vignettes. I hope.
That’s the first problem with trying to tackle this story. The second is the fact every time I bring up the letters, EEZ, with a business, they start to shut themselves off from me. It feels like it’s one of the most taboo things to talk about with these businesses, but it’s one of the most important. This has by far been the biggest struggle. I can understand if they’re uncomfortable with me coming by with a photographer, but even a phone interview should be acceptable. It’s amazing how they start to warm up when you tell them you will accuracy check everything before you publish. Yet, they still remained tentative to talk.
I’ll keep working on them, but eventually time will run out. It seems to be a case of the more businesses you call, the better chances you’ll have at connecting with someone.