Nice bit of investigative journalism by Chinese reporters

Note: This blog post also ran in the Society of Professional Journalism’s “Journalism and the World” blog. Click here to see the original post.

Here is the translation of a report about a bit of investigative journalism into KFC and McDonald’s wage problems in the south of China. (Thanks to Fons Tuinstra for bringing it to my attention.)

It details how a journalist and student interns went undercover to expose some bad labor practices.

I personally would have liked to see a bit more meat to the reporting — more interviews with other employees, a bit more comparative data about what other restaurants (both foreign and local) are paying their staff, more from government officials, maybe a labor union perspective.

But given that the whole idea of investigative reporting in China is still in its infancy, they did a pretty decent job.

For those who think that American brands are being singled out — first, everybody goes after the biggest names. There are few well-known Chinese fast food chains. Second, foreign media pick up on stories that involve international brands. If the same newspaper did exposes of local street vendors, for instance, nobody would care except for people who live on that street. Neither the national Chinese media nor the international media would pick up on it the same way that they did the KFC-McD’s story.

Signing off in Shanghai,