Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent, based in Shanghai.

Schmitz has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards, an Education Writers Association award, and his work was a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. His reporting in Japan from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami was included in the publication 100 Great Stories, celebrating the centennial of Columbia University’s Journalism School. In 2012, Schmitz exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey’s account of Apple’s supply chain on This American Life. His report was featured in the show’s “Retraction” episode, the most downloaded episode in the program's 16-year history.

Prior to joining Marketplace, Schmitz was the Los Angeles bureau chief for KQED’s The California Report. He’s also worked as the Orange County reporter for KPCC, and as a reporter for MPR, covering rural Minnesota. Prior to his radio career, Schmitz lived and worked in China; first as a teacher in the Peace Corps, then as a freelance print and video journalist. His television documentaries about China have appeared on The Learning Channel and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Among the honors Schmitz has received for his work: the Overseas Press Club Scholarship (2001); The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalist award (2001); the Scripps Howard Religion Writing Fellowship (2001); the International Reporting Project Fellowship (2002); the National Federation of Community Broadcasters award (2002); Golden Mic awards from the Radio and TV News Association of Southern California (2005 and 2006); the Peninsula Press Club award (2006); the ASU Media Fellowship, (2007); the Abe Fellowship for Journalists, (2009); the Education Writers Association (2011); finalist, Investigative Reporters and Editors award (2013); two national Edward R. Murrow awards (2012 and 2014). In 2011, the Rubin Museum of Art screened a short documentary Schmitz shot in Tibet.

Schmitz has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He’s lived in Spain, Australia, and China.

A native of Elk River, Minn., Schmitz currently resides in Shanghai, a city that’s far enough away from his hometown to avoid having to watch his favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings. Sometimes, he says, that’s a good thing. 

 

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Features by Rob Schmitz

China levies record antitrust fines on foreign firms

China levies $200 million of fines on Japanese auto parts makers.
Posted In: auto parts, price fixing, China

Foxconn's newest product: a college degree

Foxconn has established an in-house university in efforts to retain workers.
Posted In: China, Foxconn, Chinese economy, apple, News

McDonald's, KFC hit by food scandal in China

US companies were hit on all sides in the latest food scandal in China.
Posted In: KFC, McDonald's

The secret to China's GDP growth rebound: stimulus

A stimulus package from Beijing is behind China's higher-than-expected growth.
Posted In: GDP, China

China's fight for cleaner air

“China’s growth model is based on the idea that natural resources are free."
Posted In: air pollution, smog, Beijing, China

In China, the polluter 'that-must-not-be-named'

China's crackdown on criticism of a $6 billion petrochemical plant.
Posted In: China, Chengdu, air pollution, smog

Island's answer to China-Japan dispute: Tourism

The tiny resort island of Ishigaki wants Chinese tourists, but not its military.
Posted In: China, Japan, tourism

Foreign banks ask China: Where's our copper?

In China, a warehouse of copper is used over and over again as collateral for loans.
Posted In: China, commodities, scam, loans
Tian’anmen

The economic backdrop to Tian'anmen

The Tian’anmen Square protests were about more than just students and democracy.
Posted In: China, Tiananmen Square, protest, history

Tiananmen: More than just students and democracy

The 1989 protests in Tiananmen square were about more than just democracy.
Posted In: Tiananmen Square

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