The New York Times has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for “Explanatory Reporting” for its nine-part iEconomy series into Apple’s business practices and the working conditions inside Foxconn’s Chinese factories.
The Times was praised for its “penetrating look into business practices by Apple and other technology companies that illustrates the darker side of a changing global economy for workers and consumers.”
The Times beat Dan Egan of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Tony Bartelme of The Post and Courier to the $10,000 prize. Its iEconomy series gave us an insight into how Apple’s hugely popular iOS devices are manufactured in China, and the unpleasant working conditions faced by Foxconn staff.
The series included nine parts in total, which you can catch up on below:
Part 1: How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work
Part 2: In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad
Part 3: How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Global Taxes
Part 4: Apple’s Retail Army, Long on Loyalty but Short on Pay
Part 7: The Patent, Mighty as a Sword
Part 8: As Boom Lures App Creators, Tough Part Is Making a Living
Part 9: Signs of Changes Taking Hold in Electronics Factories in China
Some have accused The Times of picking on Apple simply because the company’s current stature makes it an easy and interesting target.
“It didn’t matter that every major U.S. electronics company assembles its products under the same working conditions — or worse. Or that Apple was actually doing something about them.” writes Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. “The fact is, the New York Times knows how to win Pulitzers – better than any other journalistic operation… And that’s what it set out to do — with Apple as its conspicuous subject.”
Nevertheless, the iEconomy series certainly seemed to give Apple’s efforts a bit of a boost; the company quite clearly stepped up its game and made Foxconn issues more of a priority after these reports were published late last year.