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

Japan power company has troubled history

Even before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was already one of the most trouble-prone facilities in the country. But as problems continue, many look to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company's questionable history.

In Japan, Fukushima reactor sparks food fears

Some Tokyo restaurants find customers fear radiation may have contaminated food from the region near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.

Japanese food brands could be harmed by radiation fears

The World Health Organization is reporting today there's a serious risk of food radiation in Japan. While the reports show only small amounts of radiation, many analysts are concerned the growing fear could further harm the fragile economy.

A long road ahead for Japanese taxi company

The cabbies and owner of Smile Smile Taxi in Sendai try to fight through tears as they rebuild the business.

Japan raises nuclear crisis rating

The crisis rating at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility has been raised from level 4 to level 5 on an international scale of 7 as emergency work crews continue to regain control of the reactors. In Sendai, just miles from Daiichi, citizens struggle to return to normal life.

Sendai regroups after earthquake, tsunami

Last week's earthquake and tsunami devastated Sendai in northeastern Japan. An informal barter economy has now replaced the official one.

Japan struggles with massive clean up effort

Nearly one week after Japan was rocked by a disastrous 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, a large scale clean up effort is underway in the northern part of the country.

Elevated radiation levels cause alarm in Tokyo

With reports of record radiation levels in Tokyo, the government is asking city residents to stay calm. But some are fleeing to safer locations.

Japan earthquake: The aftermath

As the Japanese deal with the wreckage of Friday's disaster, survivors face the threat of dwindling food and fuel supplies.

Deadly earthquake rocks Japan

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan, triggering a tsunami that sparked fears its destructive waves could spread across the Pacific Ocean.

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