'Fabricated' report on Apple factory conditions retracted

'Fabricated' report on Apple factory conditions retracted
Mike Daisey's 'fabricated' report re-opened the debate on Apple and Foxconn

A highly-critical report on the working conditions at Apple's Foxconn plant in China has been retracted after the broadcaster admitted 'significant fabrications.'

Back in January, the This American Life radio show featured a segment entitled Mr Daisey and the Apple Factory, which was narrated by theatre performer Mike Daisey.

The original 39-minute report, which was heard over a million times, featured purported insight from overworked and underpaid Foxconn employees.

The report was credited with putting the issue back in the public eye, which many would say wasn't exactly a bad thing, but the lines between truth and performance fiction were severely blurred.


TAL's host admitted: "We have discovered that one of our most popular episodes was partially fabricated" and said it was being retracted as the show couldn't vouch for its validity.

Ira Glass, who claimed he and the producers had been lied to and misled by Daisey said: "We're horrified to have let something like this onto public radio.

"Our program adheres to the same journalistic standards as the other national shows, and in this case, we did not live up to those standards."

The radio show was adapted from Daisey's own one-man theatrical performance The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, which is not grounded in fact.

Not Journalism

Daisey pointed out that his performance was "not journalism" and, in a statement posted to his personal website, stood by his work.

He wrote: "What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theater are not the same as the tools of journalism.

"For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic ­- not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations.

"But this is my only regret. I am proud that my work seems to have sparked a growing storm of attention and concern over the often appalling conditions under which many of the high-tech products we love so much are assembled in China."

A one-hour "Retraction" show, featuring an interview with Daisey is scheduled to air on This American Life this Sunday.

Via: NPR, AppleInsider

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.