Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yesterday’s riots at Foxconn dominated the the news cycle.

And thankfully, I am not here to condemn tech coverage. I am here to praise it.

And the coverage was a revelation—labor news standing up and being counted in tech news! Particularly Engadget’s coverage, who did live translations of posts from Weibo which did much to flesh out the story as it unfolded. I’ve been very critical of tech journalism because I want it to see it do so much more—I have to say, Sunday night it was heartening to watch tech really engage with these issues, and give it the coverage it has always deserved.

It’s been amazing over the last nine months to see how much coverage has transformed in technology. I can see the line moving, and as editors begin to believe that these stories matter to readers, they are pushing back on writers to see more.

Then today, Jay Greene writing for CNET has a
fantastic series with a worker headed to Foxconn and her life alongside a wonderful profile of Debby Chan of SACOM. He wrote these pieces because he was a tech journalist and writer who went to China and did the work on the ground that has been so long missing. Check them out.

So much has happened in just nine months—and the biggest changes can only come from waking ourselves up and seeing the world in a new way. Jay Greene and Engadget are helping to do that work in these pieces, and it feels wonderful to be able to laud them for it.

When we begin to see labor as a subject as worthy of discussion as market futures and politics, we more clearly see how important working standards are for so many people.

It can feel hopeless to many, the scale of these things. But from the little I personally know, from where I stand, I have already seen so much change. And when tech journalists begin to address these issues fully, it gives me so much hope.