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

Rob has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards and an Education Writers Association award. His work was also 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, Rob 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, Rob 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, Rob 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 Rob 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 Rob shot in Tibet.

Rob 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., Rob 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. 



Features by Rob Schmitz

Disney to break ground on Shanghai theme park

The Walt Disney Company will begin construction on Shanghai Disneyland tomorrow. And the park is expected to capitalize on existing demand for Disney products in China.
Posted In: Entertainment

In China, paying others to sweep ancestors' tombs

Today is the annual tomb-sweeping holiday in China, when, traditionally, people clean family tombs. But some Chinese are paying others to do the job.
Posted In: China

Google tests fate in China after multiple shutdowns

Analysts expect Google Maps is the next application to be banned in China, following a block of the search engine and its e-mail service by the government.
Posted In: China

Japanese supply chain's missing links

Japan's earthquake and tsunami disrupted the supply chains of hundreds of companies. Business in the U.S. have been affected too.

China steps in to fill Japan supply chain

Manufacturing companies worldwide are responding to changes in the supply chain after the Japan tsunami. Now, many Chinese companies want to fill in the production gaps, a move that could cost Japan billions of dollars.
Posted In: Auto

U.S. aid to Japan may help improve ties between nations

Japan's government is estimating this month's earthquake and tsunami could cost as much as $309 billion, more than twice the cost of Hurricane Katrina. And the U.S. military is spending a lot trying to help.

Japan tourism hit by earthquake, nuclear leak

Tourism brings billions of dollars annually to Japan, but many visitors are staying away after the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear leak.

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.


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