The Power

Awhile back I reblogged a piece from one of my favorite bloggers, Matt Eilar, and he has now posted an update that I hope you read as well. The original piece highlighted a story done by Mike Daisey on “This American Life” and involved a supposed expose’ of Apple and Foxconn with their working conditions in Shenzhen, China. Daisey’s story has now been debunked and retracted. And I make no apologies for why I believed it. I read many newspapers not the least of which are the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and both have done stories on Foxconn and Shenzhen. So they were not unknown to me. But China is immense and still relatively unknown, and of intense interest to those who tend to read business publications or the business pages of a newspaper. Yes, I’m sure it’s of interest to some others, but I doubt few knew the names Foxconn and Shenzhen until Mike Daisey decided to tell a story.

His story is unfortunate in the sense that it’s not reliable, and now Daisey is probably history because of it. How it will affect “This American Life” remains to be seen. But the incident is fortunate in the respect that until a few weeks ago, most people did not know squat about Foxconn or Shenzhen or even thought much about China. Daisey’s story has more than likely changed that. A “real life” friend of mine who had listened to Daisey because of my talk about it is curious about the real story of the labor issue. My instincts tell me she is far from alone. Such is the power of a story to go where no dry news piece ever could — into the imagination and perhaps ultimately into the heart.

7 Comments

  1. Wow. Thanks to whoever voted on this. I did not expect a reaction so quickly and certainly wasn’t expecting it to be positive! Thanks again.

  2. I was waiting to here from you when I read about it on NPR! I’m off to read Matt’s piece!

  3. I didn’t want to post anything non-Fanstra until it was over. Then I saw that Matt had posted today, so today is a good day to address it.

  4. My main concern with products from China is the toxicity : it’s hard to find clothing or toys not made there.

  5. And it does make you wonder how effective the lead testing really is.

  6. Right and then there are the environmental issues …

  7. I really try hard to avoid buying products made in China due to environmental and human rights concerns along with jobs issues. It is said that Daisey had to fabricate (love this word versus flat out lied) his story. I honestly hope this raised lasting awareness versus being an excuse for others to blow it off and assume things are fine.
    I’m not saying the chinese don’t have a right to manufacture products/provide jobs for their people, they do. However, the workers have rights and we as fellow citizens of the planet have a right to expectations that our fellow people, animal and plant life and environment will suffer as little harm in the process.
    Don’t even get me started on the economic issues these lack of regulations contribute to…


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