iLied: Exposing Mike Daisey’s Fabrications of Apple’s Supply Chain in China

Number 25615
Subject Fraud
Source American Public Media
State China
Year 2012
Publication Date 03/16/2012; 04/11/2012; 04/12/2012
Summary This two-part investigation exposed fabrications in American monologuist Mike Daisey’s narrative about the Chinese factory workers who make Apple products, and also gave a voice to the Chinese men and women who were at the center of the international debate about factory conditions. Daisey had gained a worldwide platform as Apple’s most prominent critic; Reporter Rob Schmitz’s investigation proved that the details on which Daisey had built his compelling story were fabricated. Schmitz’s investigation aired on Marketplace and This American Life on March 16, 2012 and made international headlines, sparking a debate about journalistic truth. Schmitz’s April 2012 follow-up stories broadcast the points-of-view of actual Chinese factory workers and their employers, and helped re-shape the narrative about working conditions at Apple suppliers. Schmitz’s investigation became the most downloaded story in each program’s history. Hundreds of media organizations covered the work, sparking thousands of news articles and commentaries about the findings and the issues it raised. Online components of the work – which included podcasts, photo, and video – demonstrated the reach and longevity of multimedia storytelling; a video Schmitz shot of an iPad assembly line went viral with more than 2 million views on Youtube. The work continues to be discussed in case study format at journalism schools around the U.S., including an ethics class at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Category Contest Entry
Pages
Keywords journalism; journalism education; multimedia storytelling
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