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. 

 

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Features by Rob Schmitz

Chinese factories, American workers

More Chinese companies are setting up shop — and providing jobs — in states like South Carolina.
Posted In: China, manufacturing, South Carolina, factories

Views of the U.S. election from across the Pacific

If you think the 2016 election has become crazy, imagine what the Chinese think.
Posted In: China, U.S. Election, donald trump, hillary clinton

Loss and redemption on the Street of Eternal Happiness

A reporter investigates the violent history of his Shanghai property.
Posted In: Shanghai, China

Tired of urban life, young Chinese hit the road

More office workers are quitting their jobs to explore remote corners of their country.
Posted In: chinese, hitchhikers, urban life
People visiting a foreign exchange office in Tokyo on Friday. Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso pledged on Friday that Tokyo is ready to adopt strong measures to address wild volatility on financial markets driven by Brexit fears.

A look at Brexit's impact on Asia

Stocks in Japan suffered their worst day in five years.
Posted In: Brexit, markets, China

China's Disneyland: Big enough for its consumer class?

Long lines — some more than 4 hours — await visitors.
Posted In: Disneyland, disney, China

A dream of freedom on the Street of Eternal Happiness

A Shanghai shop owner dreams of independence from her abusive husband.

Life and death inside a Chinese 'cancer village'

Villagers in central China blame a chemical factory for a high incidence of cancer.
Posted In: China, pollution, water, cancer

The story of China through the lens of one Shanghai street

A new book from Marketplace's Rob Schmitz, "Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road," follows the lives of people in China's largest city.
Posted In: China, Books, Shanghai

China's new weapon against water pollution: its people

China's government has asked citizens to help clean up the country's waterways.
Posted In: China, pollution, water

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