Archive for January, 2012

Summary of This American Life podcast “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”

This podcast was from a piece that Mike Daisey did for his radio show.  Technology is his hobby and his favorite manufacturer is Apple.  When Daisey becomes curious where his favorite products come from he travels to China to find out.  He explores what goes on behind the scenes of these Apple factories; specifically Foxconn in Shenzhen.  Daisey goes into great detail on the working conditions in these factories.

Topic of the story

The story talks a lot of how workers and treated in China.  Daisey leads us to believe that workers are treated badly in these factories.

What made me laugh?

The imagery made me laugh.  Daisey plays with his words and he uses a lot of metaphors in his speech.  He really just paints a picture with his words.

What surprised me?

The first things that surprised me was to hear of the epidemic of suicides going on at this time.  I was amazed that multiple workers had actually jumped off of the roofs of these factories.  One in the course of a year really would not be that much to accept and believe, but multiple suicides.   I can’t believe that actually happens.

Another thing that surprised me was the number of child workers in these factories.  We’ve all heard that there are places where children work, but I guess I always just thought that these children were in 3rd world countries; definitely not in China.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was the woman who got fired just for going to the labor board.  If you can’t go to them with a problem than what are they there for?

Non-dialog elements

There was music at intervals which helped create the mood but then there was also laughter in the background.  When I listened to this podcast in class I was far enough away from the speakers that I didn’t notice this.  When I got home and relistened to the podcast I could then detect the laughter.  In any recorded performance I have always that that background laughter takes something away from it because it’s destracting and sometimes overlaps the speech or song or whatever the case may be.   I’m glad for my first time listening to this podcast I couldn’t hear it.  The experience wouldn’t have been the same otherwise.

What I noticed that might be useful in creating my own podcast

I think what made this speech so fun to listen to was in how Daisey delivered it.  He spoke clear and precise and he dramatized his speech by speaking slowly and changing the pitch of his voice throughout, but at intervals he would rapidly change his pace depending on how much tension he wanted to build at a particular moment.  I think this kind of dramatized speech is ideal for a podcast.


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