Posts tagged with ‘mike daisey’

When Retractions go Viral →

While not as often as we’d like, news organizations often issue general factual corrections — and occasional outright retractions — to the stories they produce.

The problem, few actually see them and the original error is passed about the online wilds.

Not so with Mike Daisey’s This American Life investigation of electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn. Nieman Lab reports that the TAL episode dedicated to retracting the story is its most popular yet with with over 891,000 downloads and streams of the podcast since the story first aired.

The original Foxconn podcast had 888,000 downloads and streams in a similar timeframe. Since that time and additional 206,000 have listened to it.

Goes to show that biggie errors deserve a biggie response. In this American American Life’s case they dedicated a whole show to their errors. Something to learn from as most outlets bury their mistakes where few actually find them.

Nieman Lab, This American Life’s retraction of the Mike Daisey story set an online listening record.

The easy lesson might be that journalism is not a game of bean bag, and it would be best left to professionals. But we are in a pro-am informational world where news comes from all directions. Traditional media still originate big stories, but many others come from all corners — books, cellphone videos, blogs and, yes, radio shows built on storytelling.

Theater, Disguised Up as Real JournalismNew York Times media pundit David Carr, characteristically keen as ever, cuts to the heart of the Mike Daisey / Apple / This American Life affair. (via explore-blog)

FJP: And, perhaps, an example of why James H. Smith is so angry.

(Source: , via explore-blog)

This American Life Retraction Transcript for Daisey Foxconn Episode →

Via Ira Glass, This American Life:

I should say, I am not happy to have to come to you and tell you that something that we presented on the radio as factual is not factual. All of us in public radio stand together and I have friends and colleagues on lots of other shows who – like us here at This American Life – work hard to do accurate, independent reporting week in, week out. I and my coworkers on This American Life are not happy to have done anything to hurt the reputation of the journalism that happens on this radio station every day. So we want to be completely transparent about what we got wrong, and what we now believe is the truth.

And let’s just get to it.

The transcript walks us through Mike Daisey’s trip to China to investigate labor conditions at Foxconn, and leads to an interview between Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz, Ira Glass and Daisey himself.

When Mike Daisey lied to national radio audiences on This American Life, lied to the 888,000 people who downloaded the podcast (the most in the show’s history), and lied to who-knows-how-many theater audiences over two years of performing his one-man show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, he wasn’t wrong about the Chinese labor abuses that go into making iPads and other beloved American gadgets. He wasn’t wrong that Chinese workers are often subjected to horrific conditions, wasn’t wrong that Apple’s supervision of its contractor’s factories has been problematic, and wasn’t wrong that we American consumers bear an indirect but troubling moral responsibility for these abuses.

Most importantly, Mike Daisey wasn’t wrong that it is possible for Chinese authorities and Apple to substantially improve labor conditions — without making their products any more expensive or less competitive — and that American consumers can help make this happen. But he was wrong that embellishing his story would help, that bad behavior in service of a good cause ever does.