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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

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

China's economic boom leaves a trail of ghost cities

A growth model focused on GDP has left hundreds of Chinese cities nearly empty.
Posted In: China, ghost towns, #numberslie

Is China's property market crashing?

More signs of a real estate slump in China stoke fears of a crash.
Posted In: China housing, real estate

The economic backdrop to China's terrorist attacks

Today's attack on a market in Xinjiang killed 31, injuring at least 90.
Posted In: China, Uighurs, terrorism
CHINA-RUSSIA-ENERGY-DIPLOMACY

What China gets from the $400 billion Russian gas deal

China and Russia signed a deal for $400 billion-worth of gas for the next 30 years
Posted In: China, gazprom

Hacking won't scare U.S. companies out of China

Cyber espionage is a growing problem, but it's not a new one.
Posted In: China, cyber attack

American technology, Chinese pollution

U.S. clean tech is finding big opportunities cleaning up China's environment.
Posted In: China, manufacturing, sustainability

China accuses GSK foreign executive of bribery

Chinese police took unprecedented step of charging a foreign executive of bribery.
Posted In: China, GlaxoSmithKline, bribery

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