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

Will China dam its last free-flowing river?

The Nu River, along China's border with Burma, is at the center of a controversy.
Posted In: China, nu river, burma

The good and bad news behind China's 6.9 percent growth

In 2015, China's economy grew at its slowest pace in 25 years. It's not all bad.
Posted In: China, GDP

China's trading day lasted only 14 minutes

China's stock index fell by 7 percent in just 14 minutes Thursday — what's going on?
Posted In: China, stock market

Why can't China make a good ballpoint pen?

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's quest to innovate the workshop of the world.
Posted In: China, China growth, China business

Cutting CO2: the advantages of China's top-down system

Does China's political system help in setting long-term goals to reduce emissions?
Posted In: China, Climate Conference, global climate change, Paris Climate Conference

A trove of coal pushes China's pollution westward

China's faraway region of Xinjiang is becoming the country's newest power base.
Posted In: China, energy, coal

China taps faraway frontier for renewable energy

The region of Xinjiang is China's new energy base. The challenge? Transmission.
Posted In: China, wind energy, wind turbines

Seeking better healthcare, Russians look to China

The tiny Chinese bordertown of Hunchun has 49 hospitals catering to Russians.

China bets big on border town with Russia, North Korea

China invests billions into Hunchun, along the Russian and North Korean border.
Posted In: China, border, Russia, North Korea


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