Welcome back to our weekly behind-the-scenes glimpse at what’s getting our team talking. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Money talks

Here at RTBC, we’ve reported several times on basic income, including in a story by our founder, David Byrne, about Stockton, California. The key takeaway: It works. This week, Executive Editor Will Doig shared another prime example from the Colorado Sun about an experiment in which homeless people in Denver were given no-strings-attached cash.

Will Doig Slack avatar

Will says:


More evidence that giving unhoused folks a relatively small amount of money can have an enormous impact. All that prevents this proven solution from spreading is public support and political will.

The Guardian logo

Waste not

Plastic pollution has had a big impact on the small nation of Vanuatu, forming trash islands in once-picturesque turquoise lagoons. In 2018, the government acted decisively: It prohibited the sale and distribution of some kinds of single-use plastics, making Vanuatu one of the first countries anywhere to do so. The results, as we learned from a story shared by Contributing Editor Michaela Haas from The Guardian, have been impressive.

Drone view of Erakor Island, near Port Vila in Vanuatu.
Erakor Island, near Port Vila in Vanuatu. Credit: Martin Valigursky / Shutterstock

Michaela says:


This is a fantastic story, and what I love most about it is that it literally started with one person making a difference.

What else we’re reading

🌊 It’s the world’s first Indigenous-led ‘blue park.’ And Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation pulled it off without waiting on Canada — shared Founding Editor Christine McLaren from The Narwhal

😼 The Iberian lynx is back from the brink of extinction, thanks to conservation efforts — shared by Contributing Editor Michaela Haas from AP News

🌅 Reaching the Light of Day — shared by Editorial Director Rebecca Worby from Orion Magazine

In other news…

French country bistros are more than just charming places to have a bite to eat — they’re often vital social hubs, the glue that holds rural communities together. That’s why, according to a Smithsonian Magazine story that RTBC contributing writer MaryLou Costa sent along this week, a growing movement is campaigning for their recognition on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

“I love this article about a movement to save France’s dying bistros, which are a lifeline for its small villages, where it’s often the only business and will double as a post office and store,” MaryLou says.