Today on the NPR radio program This American Life, they devoted an entire hour to a retraction of a story they aired in January about working conditions in Apple factories in China. It wasn’t that the claims made on the original program were false. The claims– of overcrowding in dorms, long working hours, the Hexane poisoning of some workers, some underage workers– have all been documented even by Apple in public reports.
However, it didn’t happen as presented on the radio program. The program, based on a theater performance by writer/artist Mike Daisey in which he told a story about visiting factories that make ipods and iphones in China, was more a combination of activism, theater and reporting than it was straight up reporting. Mike Daisey took great liberties with what he actually experienced in China, in order to write a very moving stage monologue.
At first I wondered why
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