NYT wins Pulitzer for 'iEconomy' investigative series on Apple's supply chain

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2014
The nine-part "iEconomy" series, which investigated Asia's technology supply industry with a particular focus on Apple, netted The New York Times a 2013 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.

The annual Pulitzer Prize awards recognize excellence in journalism and the arts, and the staff of the Times was recognized this year for its Apple-centric "iEconomy" series. In all, the publication won four Pulitzers for reports published in 2012.

Tim Cook at Foxconn
Apple CEO Tim Cook touring an iPhone production line at a Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China.


The "iEconomy" stories were recognized for their "penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies." The Pulitzer Prize Board awarded the Times staff for illustrating the "darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers."

The series accused Apple of sidestepping taxes, profiled retail employees who believe they are "short on pay," and also detailed the "human costs" of assembly of Apple's devices in China.

Critics contended that the series placed too much emphasis on Apple, noting that nearly every technology company relies on cheap components and labor from overseas to build and sell electronics.

"Never mind that Apple's competitors all outsource work, sidestep taxes, use patents as weapons and turn an even blinder eye to labor abuses in the Asian supply chain," Philip Elmer-Dewitt of Apple 2.0 wrote in December. "The fact is, Apple ? always a draw for readers ? made a big, fat, easy target."



The "iEconomy" series also included anonymous comments from former Apple executives who claimed that the company has known about "labor abuses" in supplier factories for years without requiring that they be addressed. That story prompted Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook to lash out in an e-mail to employees, in which he said "any suggestion that we don't care is patently false and offensive."

"We will continue to dig deeper, and we will undoubtedly find more issues," Cook wrote. "What we will not do ? and never have done ? is stand still or turn a blind eye to problems in our supply chain. On this you have my word."

All nine parts of the New York Times "iEconomy" series are included below:
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    explanatory or exemplary?

  • Reply 2 of 36
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    explanatory or exemplary?



     


    Explanatory, as in: not entirely accurate, but they explained the points they wanted to make very well.


     


    A sad day when they give out Pulitzers for simply good writing, regardless of how sloppy the reporting is. I miss the days when the NY Times, and other news organizations, actually had editorial standards.

  • Reply 3 of 36
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    explanatory or exemplary?



     


    Explanatory, exemplary, exploratory -- it's all the same imageimage


     


    On a more serious note, in before Apple ][ has a hissy fit :)

  • Reply 4 of 36
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    NYT will never win a Pulitzer on a story on Gosnell!
  • Reply 5 of 36
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    mstone wrote: »
    <span style="color:rgb(24,24,24);font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;line-height:18px;">explanatory or exemplary?</span>

    Or maybe 'inflammatory' would be more apt?
    I see nothing exemplary or explanatory in a series of articles that deliberately avoided addressing the wider implications for the most part and if not perhaps outright lied on occasion about Apple, there was enough obfuscation and slant included to paint Apple alone as evil and all others as unfortunate victims of world trade reality.
    I hope they choke on their self-serving schadenfreude.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frac View Post




     

    Or maybe 'inflammatory' would be more apt?


    Pulitzer actually does give awards for Explanatory Reporting. It seemed like an odd word usage to me but I not speak the English so very good. Oh well... 


     


    http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2013-Explanatory-Reporting

  • Reply 7 of 36
    Of course jumping on the "Apple is evil" bandwagon will win a Pulitzer. All the lives Apple has destroyed... Can't blame Foxconn, it's Apple's fault always Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 36


    No Matter,  story was noticeably slanted-   No doubt Apple media buys in the Times were altered 


    after publishing.  Good luck with that business plan.

  • Reply 9 of 36
    pokepoke Posts: 506member


    How to win a Pulitzer:


     


    - cite a compulsive liar as one of your main sources


    - task one of your employees with creating an app to show that nobody can make money from apps; when his app is successful, remove him from the story and publish it without including any details of his project


    - write a story about how Apple's retail employees make less money than AT&T and Verizon employees, but neglect to mention that AT&T and Verizon employees make more money because they're paid by manufacturers to mislead customers into buying things they don't want or need


    - focus all your efforts on one company because you know it'll cause controversy, ignore all their competitors who are doing far worse things


     


    Journalism!

  • Reply 10 of 36
    silenciosilencio Posts: 134member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post



    NYT will never win a Pulitzer on a story on Gosnell!


     


    Ah, the conservative flavor of the week. Better get your last licks in before the whole Boston "false flag" thing takes all the oxygen out of the room.


     


    The surest way to create more Gosnells is by restricting access to legal, safe abortions even more. His despicable kind was commonplace before Roe v Wade.

  • Reply 11 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    poke wrote: »
    How to win a Pulitzer:

    - cite a compulsive liar as one of your main sources
    - task one of your employees with creating an app to show that nobody can make money from apps; when his app is successful, remove him from the story and publish it without including any details of his project
    - write a story about how Apple's retail employees make less money than AT&T and Verizon employees, but neglect to mention that AT&T and Verizon employees make more money because they're paid by manufacturers to mislead customers into buying things they don't want or need
    - focus all your efforts on one company because you know it'll cause controversy, ignore all their competitors who are doing far worse things

    Journalism!

    It's funny how the app making part backfired on them. It was originally in the article but it has since been omitted. In defense of AT&T and VZW the act of duping a consumer to buy something they don't want existed long before they started doing it. Uneducated consumers are their own enemy. The biggest name in any industry will always have the spotlight on them, in this case it's Apple and in the past it's been Nike.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    thecore wrote: »
    No Matter,  story was noticeably slanted-   No doubt Apple media buys in the Times were altered 
    after publishing.  Good luck with that business plan.

    Look at the other side of the coin. How many more pro-Apple articles have been written in the NYT courtesy of David Pogue? I'd worry more when they're not mentioning Apple.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    - task one of your employees with creating an app to show that nobody can make money from apps; when his app is successful, remove him from the story and publish it without including any details of his project



     


    In fairness, he quit... because the app was so successful.

  • Reply 14 of 36
    Tripe passed off as serious journalism. The Pulitzers have become an agenda-driven joke.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    thecore wrote: »
    No Matter,  story was noticeably slanted-   No doubt Apple media buys in the Times were altered 
    after publishing.  Good luck with that business plan.

    Look at the other side of the coin. How many more pro-Apple articles have been written in the NYT courtesy of David Pogue? I'd worry more when they're not mentioning Apple.

    Its not an apt comparison in the least. Pogue's articles are simply those of a tech guy. What else would he do if he didn't review products from companies such as Apple!? And, do you suppose the fact that his reviews are favorable may have something to do with product attributes?
  • Reply 16 of 36
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,580member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    Its not an apt comparison in the least. Pogue's articles are simply those of a tech guy. What else would he do if he didn't review products from companies such as Apple!? And, do you suppose the fact that his reviews are favorable may have something to do with product attributes?


     


    Unfortunately, Pogue has pretty much lost all credibility lately. He bends over backwards to not give crappy products bad reviews because he's afraid of the backlash. So, his reviews don't mean much one way or the other.

  • Reply 17 of 36
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Pulitzer Prize going the way of the Nobel Prize I see. What a joke that the NY Slimes gets awarded this for basically a series they did to generate page clicks on their site.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,375member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Frac View Post





    Or maybe 'inflammatory' would be more apt?

    I see nothing exemplary or explanatory in a series of articles that deliberately avoided addressing the wider implications for the most part and if not perhaps outright lied on occasion about Apple, there was enough obfuscation and slant included to paint Apple alone as evil and all others as unfortunate victims of world trade reality.

    I hope they choke on their self-serving schadenfreude.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by poke View Post


    How to win a Pulitzer:


     


    - cite a compulsive liar as one of your main sources


    - task one of your employees with creating an app to show that nobody can make money from apps; when his app is successful, remove him from the story and publish it without including any details of his project


    - write a story about how Apple's retail employees make less money than AT&T and Verizon employees, but neglect to mention that AT&T and Verizon employees make more money because they're paid by manufacturers to mislead customers into buying things they don't want or need


    - focus all your efforts on one company because you know it'll cause controversy, ignore all their competitors who are doing far worse things


     


    Journalism!



     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Pulitzer Prize going the way of the Nobel Prize I see. What a joke that the NY Slimes gets awarded this for basically a series they did to generate page clicks on their site.




    At least Apple now knows how anyone to the right of center politically feels about the coverage they get in the Times......  ....and the Pulitzers and Nobels (at least outside of the hard sciences) have long been as agenda-driven as the Times and Academy awards.




    "We have no choice but to get our information from interested, and thus biased, sources."

    ~Michael S. Kochin

  • Reply 19 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    Its not an apt comparison in the least. Pogue's articles are simply those of a tech guy. What else would he do if he didn't review products from companies such as Apple!? And, do you suppose the fact that his reviews are favorable may have something to do with product attributes?

    Sure it is. It negates the notion that the NYT has an agenda against Apple. Companies that have a big lead in mind share are held to a higher standard.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    anonymouse wrote: »
    Unfortunately, Pogue has pretty much lost all credibility lately. He bends over backwards to not give crappy products bad reviews because he's afraid of the backlash. So, his reviews don't mean much one way or the other.

    I disagree but I will say that he does over emphasize what a device or product does well, but will state that it's usually not enough to overcome it's shortcomings. Mossberg isn't much different.
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