If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re affected by the topic of our show today. The phone, computer or tablet you’re using to play this episode is likely powered by a lithium-ion battery. And one of the main ingredients in those batteries is cobalt. Much of our cobalt comes from the Congo, where miners often dig by hand in unsafe conditions to find and sell the valuable mineral. On this episode, Washington Post journalists Todd Frankel, Michael Chavez and Jorge Ribas discuss their work in the Congo and explain how they tracked the supply chain back to the U.S.
Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.
- Read “The Cobalt Pipeline” on the Washington Post’s website.
- Read the second piece of the lithium-ion battery series on graphite in China by Washington Post reporter Peter Whorisky
- Read Todd Frankel’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch story about how the Aurora, Colorado shooter got his ammunition.
- Want to learn more about reporting on supply chains? Listen to the episodes “Product of Mexico” and “The Story That Freed Hundreds of Slaves.
Want to listen to a show highlighted in our 50th episode promotion? Here are the stories we included (in the order they are featured):
- The Story That Freed Hundreds of Slaves
- The Fairbanks Four
- Regulated by God
- The Reporter Who Brought Down The Governor
- Product of Mexico
- Ghost Schools
- The Toughest Interview of My Life
- Chicago’s Secret Cash Machine
- Profiting From Prisoners
Blake Nelson reported this story and illustrated our episode artwork. Daniela Vidal is our host. IRE Web Editor Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.
Wisteria (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Ash and Mirage (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 43.0
Drch (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
The Summit (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Awanee (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Mercurial Vision (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0
Weathervane (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0