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

Drought in China threatens global wheat supply

China is the world's largest producer and consumer of grain. But after severe winter droughts in the northern breadbasket region, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warns of a global wheat shortage that will drive up the cost of foods like noodles and cereal. Rob Schmitz has more.
Posted In: China, Food

Groupon's Super Bowl ad could backfire in China

Online coupon site Groupon has been criticized for its commercial that made light of the political controversy between China and Tibet, and drew criticism from Super Bowl viewers -- in the U.S., and now in China. Rob Schmitz reports on how this ad could hurt Groupon's chances of expanding to the world's biggest market.
Posted In: China, Entertainment, Internet

New Year highlights a shift in China's workforce

Today marks the Lunar New Year in China. Millions of workers in China return home for New Year and many employers fear they may not come back.
Posted In: China, Jobs

Gong Xi Fa Cai: Marketplace China Bureau Survives Relentless Fireworks Attack

I recently reported on the arduous start to the journey home for many Chinese migrants during the New Year holiday. Now that many have made it ho...
Posted In: Chinese New Year, fireworks, Rabbit

Maverick, Goose...and CCTV

One of my favorite China-related stories the past week has been the revelation that state broadcaster CCTV allegedly used footage from the 1984 ...
Posted In: China

Shanghai's Blue Skies Are But a Smoggy Memory...

November 1st, 2010: The view from my office disappears. After living in an industrial region of China in the 90s, my lungs kn...
Posted In: air pollution, smog, World's Fair

GM sells more vehicles in China than in the U.S.

For the first time in GM's 102-year history, the car maker sold more cars in 2010 in a foreign market than in the U.S. And that market is China. Rob Schmitz reports.
Posted In: Auto

China prepares to take over its first bank inside the U.S.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, or ICBC is hoping to purchase 80 percent of the U.S. division of the Bank of East Asia. Rob Schmitz reports.
Posted In: Banks, China

China tightens law on land seizures

China's government introduced new laws to protect people whose land is seized by local officials for future development.
Posted In: China, Housing

Going home for Chinese New Year

China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz chronicles the journey thousands of Chinese citizens take to return home for the Chinese New Year.
Posted In: China

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