WBUR has launched a new reporting project called BostonomiX. It's dedicated to covering the region's booming innovation economy.
Asma crisscrossed the country for NPR covering demographics during this last election. One thing she heard over and over again was that people were petrified of losing their jobs. And while some people blamed immigrants, a lot realized that automation was making their jobs redundant.
"I have this distinct memory," says Asma, "the last big reporting trip I took — was after the election — I went to Youngstown — which is this working class region of northeast Ohio. And, I met this guy there — Leo Jennings III — he's a Democrat — a former union organizer. He's 61, and he had grown up in the shadow of steel mills and seen how people lost their jobs.. He was terrified — of something that completely surprised me - driverless trucks. It's the most common job in a lot of states. So, Leo told me — lawmakers should put the brakes on this innovation. Thousands of people are gonna be without a job."
So now that Asma has returned to Boston, she'll be covering the intersection of technology and policy — including robotics and artificial intelligence. Other members of the Bostonomix include: Bruce Gellerman, who will be looking at energy; Zeninjor Enwemeka, who's going to be focused on the nexus between culture and business; and Rachel Zimmerman, who will be covering health.
Asma Khalid, reporter for WBUR's Bostonomix.
This segment aired on March 9, 2017.