From the Vaults: Teaching Multimedia, Teaching Multimedia, Uncategorized

Most popular This American Life episode partly fabricated


This American Life issued a press release today retracting one of their most popular shows about worker abuses in an Apple factory in China.   “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” profiled Mike Daisey’s journey to uncovering abuse of Apple factory workers. According to Daisey, his work is a type of theatrical journalism. 

According to NPR, the response to the episode, “was significant” and it “quickly became the single most popular podcast in This American Life’s history, with 888,000 downloads (typically the number is 750,000) and 206,000 streams to date.”
The press release went on to say:
“During fact checking before the broadcast of Daisey’s story, This American Life staffers asked Daisey for this interpreter’s contact information. Daisey told them her real name was Anna, not Cathy as he says in his monologue, and he said that the cell phone number he had for her didn’t work any more. He said he had no way to reach her. “At that point, we should’ve killed the story,” says Ira Glass, Executive Producer and Host of This American Life. “But other things Daisey told us about Apple’s operations in China checked out, and we saw no reason to doubt him. We didn’t think that he was lying to us and to audiences about the details of his story. That was a mistake.”