Creative Reporting Tactics

“Mr. Daisey and Apple” was one of the most interesting podcasts I have ever listened to (aside from being the only podcast I’ve ever listened to…). Initially, I was expecting an hour long drone with an epic Debbie Downer description of working conditions. I do believe that working conditions are currently horrendous but most journalists resort to a guilt-trip rather than keeping their reports upbeat as Mike Daisey did. This is what I found most fascinating about the podcasts, Daisey’s technique at reporting kept the listener engaged so that the report was actually heard rather than being discounted because it was depressing. People enjoy sticking their heads in the ground when they hear reports like this; this podcast did not make me want to ignore what it had to say. In contrast, its points of hilarity kept me intrigued for the entire hour.

The other interesting tactic Mr. Daisey took was his manner of interviewing. I never would have thought a journalist would be allowed to simply talk to workers as they exited the building. However, Daisey was brave and decided to take this route and it paid of exceedingly well. For example, when the workers came out, he expected only a few would want to talk to him, instead the workers lined up to talk to him about their jobs. People told stories of how the oldest workers were put out to work when inspectors came so younger workers would not be caught and the supplier would not be audited. Furthermore, when asked, the workers had no response for what they would change about their working conditions. In other cases throughout the podcast, this was hard to believe as stories were told about people being exposed to toxic chemicals. This is not easy information to hear but Daisey’s creative/courageous approach to interviewing his subjects allowed for vivid descriptions of the working conditions.

Finally, Daisey was incredibly careful to not directly attack Apple for using factories in Shenzhen.  This tactic kept listeners intrigued because he did not offend anyone nor attack a beloved company. Rather, only human rights issues were addressed and the companies that are used as suppliers. Apple was pointed out to have taken steps to annually publish their audits of suppliers which is much more than most companies do. Thus, listeners were not offended and were more likely to retain the information they heard.

Because Daisey utilized humor, creative interviewing, and diplomatic reporting tactics, he was able to retain listeners’ interests on a difficult topic. His style of reporting was much more likely to result in a change in consumerism or at least consumer behavior. But, what is most important, is that Mike Daisey stirred up compassion for the workers which can result in the most demand for change.

One thought on “Creative Reporting Tactics”

  1. Now you know he is an actor, not a journalist. But, yes, it is often funny. Glad you noticed that.

    Still, I think a journalist would simply talk to workers exiting a plant, if they could. This would be better then talking to pre-selected workers the firm provides.


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