Rob Schmitz, the public radio journalist who exposed Apple commentator Mike Daisey's fabrications regarding working conditions at a Chinese electronics factory, has become only the second Western journalist to be granted access to Foxconn's factory floor.
The reports from the longtime China correspondent for American Public Media's Marketplace are scheduled to begin airing tomorrow on public radio stations. Schmitz has also written about his visit on his reporter's notebook blog, notes Fortune.
In his one-man play, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," Daisey claimed to have witnessed dangerous working conditions suffered by employees at Foxconn factories in China where iPads and iPhones are assembled. During his show, which recently closed in New York, Daisey described visiting assembly lines in Shenzhen factories where he said he spoke to workers who were underage, poisoned by toxins, and disfigured by iPad-making machinery.
After the popular public radio program "This American Life" used an excerpt of Daisey's monologue for a news story in January, Schmitz began to investigate Daisey's claims and spoke with the woman who worked as his translator, who disputed his version of events.
On March 16, citing "significant fabrications," the makers of "This American Life" retracted the episode that featured Daisey's monologue. Daisey initially defended the play as a "a theatrical piece" but has since apologized and admitted he had not witnessed the hazardous conditions he described.
ABC's Bill Weir visited the factory in February, after The New York Times published an exhaustive report that profiled factory conditions linked to scores of injuries and a handful of deaths.