1 !! "#$%&'(!)**+,!$'-!"./0.''1! 23,!4&50655&.'!$'-!7&('&8&0$'0,!.8!79,$:53.*!;556,5!! Rachel Feddema Submitted to the Faculty of Arts in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Development Studies Supervised by Dr. Edna Einsiedel University of Calgary Calgary, Alberta April 2013
3 )0A'.9+,-(,%,':5! Foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Edna Einsiedel, whose insightful guidance, encouragement, and generous patience supported my learning and sanity through this process. Working with Dr. Einsiedel has been a highlight in my undergraduate career, and made this process a rewarding experience. Thank you to Dr. Chui-Ling Tam and Mr. Geoffrey Cragg for offering assistance and taking time out of their busy schedules to be on my honours committee. I would also like to thank Dr. Dawn Johnston for all the encouragement and tough love, and to the honours cohort for being supportive and inspiring. I am grateful to all of my friends and peers who have patiently listened to my honours updates throughout the year, expressed interest, and offered reassurance that I would indeed eventually finish this thesis. Finally, thank you to my parents for encouraging me to always do my best, and for providing endless love and support throughout my academic journey.
5 i 2$=+,!.8!B.':,':5! Evolution of Sweatshops in Social Consciousness... 3! 1990s Anti-Sweatshop Movement in the Media... 5! Measuring Campaign Effectiveness... 6! Twenty-first Century Sweatshops... 7! Organizing Resistance in New Media Environments... 8! What is a Frame?... 10! What is Framing?... 10! Who is Responsible for Framing?... 11! Visual Framing... 11! Significance of Framing... 12! Apple and Foxconn... 14! China Context... 15! Chronology of Events... 16! Relevance of the Case Study... 20! Past Sweatshop Framing Research... 21! D,5,$#03&'(!!"#$%#&$'()*$!+,#-!$'-!<.626=,!CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!>I! Relevance of Newspaper and Video Media... 23! Retrieving The New York Times Articles... 24! Retrieving YouTube Videos... 25! Framing Analysis Methodology... 28! )'$+G5&5!.8!"#$%,5!&'!!"#$%#&$'()*$!+,#-!$'-!.'!<.626=,!CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!II! Responsibility or Power to Create Change... 33! Sub-frame: Responsibility of Apple... 34! Sub-frame: Media Attention... 36! Sub-frames Relating to Foxconn and China... 37! Human Rights Abuser... 38! Sub-frames targeting Foxconn or Apple... 39! Sub-frame: All technology companies responsible... 43! Sub-frame: Chinese government responsible... 44!
6 ii Questioning Corporate Social Responsibility... 44! Sub-frame: Questioning Fair Labor Association... 45! Sub-frame: Apple s efforts are insufficient... 46! Changing Environment... 47! Sub-frame: Chinese socio/economic environment is changing... 47! Sub-frames illustrating Apple, and Apple and Foxconn, changing... 48! Unrest in China... 50! Sub-frame: Chinese workers aware of rights... 50! Sub-frame: Chinese economy... 51! Consumption versus Production... 51! Sub-frame: Impactful consumer awareness... 52! Sub-frame: Customers not concerned... 53! Sub-frame: People should be aware... 54! Labour versus Capital... 55! Not a Sweatshop... 56! Sub-frame: Implying Foxconn is not a sweatshop... 57! Sub-frame: Explicitly stating Foxconn is not a sweatshop... 57! Sub-frame: Psychological problem of younger Chinese generation... 59! Summary of Findings... 61! Research Limitations... 64! Apple within the Issue-Attention Cycle... 64! Should Foxconn be labeled as a Sweatshop?... 67! Corporate Public Relations in the Media... 71! Impact of Media Framing... 72! Further Research... 75! B.'0+65&.'!CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!KJ! D,8,#,'0,5!CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC!KL!
7 iii Q&5:!.8!"&(6#,5! Figure 1. Comparison of main frames between The New York Times and YouTube findings... 33! Figure 2. Comparison of sub-frames within Resp. or Power to Create Change frame... 34! Figure 3. Emphasis on Apple products at Foxconn in ABC News video... 36! Figure 4. Comparison of sub-frames within Human Rights Abuser frame... 39! Figure 5. Comparison of sub-frames within Questioning Corporate Social Resp. frame... 44! Figure 6. Comparison of sub-frames within Changing Environment frame... 47! Figure 7. Comparison of sub-frames within Unrest in China frame... 50! Figure 8. Comparison of sub-frames within Consumption versus Production frame... 52! Figure 9. Activists hold signs outside Apple headquarters in California... 53! Figure 10. Scenes from Next Media Animation video... 54! Figure 11. Prominent footage of suicide nets in ABC News ifactory report... 60! Figure 12. Apple and Hon Hai Stock Fluctuations in !!! Q&5:!.8!2$=+,5!! Table 1 Breakdown of The New York Times Search Results... 25! Table 2 YouTube Search Results and Video Selection... 28! Table 3 Appearance and Description of Frames and Sub-Frames in The New York Times... 31! Table 4 Appearance and Description of Frames and Sub-Frames in YouTube Videos... 32! Table 5 Appearance of Frames Across Three Analyses... 62!
9 1 ;':#.-60:&.'! The identification and discussion of sweatshop working conditions has pervaded culture since the nineteenth century and continues to be a provocative subject today. People around the world have been, and continue to be, subject to mentally and physically harmful work environments with unfair compensation and few opportunities to organize for labour rights. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, sweatshop issues could be conceptualized within a regional or national scale because the networks and hierarchies of producers, intermediaries and consumers were usually located within one country or geographic region. By the 1970s however, neoliberal policies in commerce and international economics restructured the production system, dispersing producers and consumers around the world. This system is unbalanced because factories predominantly moved out of wealthy developed countries into emerging markets and newly industrialized countries. These emerging market countries often compete to attract foreign investment from transnational companies (TNCs) by offering low operating costs, low labour prices, efficient production, and flexible regulations (Ross, 2004). Most TNC administration offices remain consolidated in Western developed countries to manage business operations where their main customer markets are located. Being geographically removed from the factories, consumers are largely isolated from production conditions. Sweatshop issues persist on a greater scale and have become more complex with the introduction of global, national, and international actors and influences. Through international campaigns such as the anti-sweatshop movement, many activists have attempted to reconnect sweatshop issues with consumer goods to spur a demand for international fair labour laws, and to force transnational companies to regulate better work environments throughout their supply chains. In the 1990s, anti-sweatshop campaigners predominately focused on the production of
10 2 toys, clothes, and sportswear. In 2003, international corporations that produce computers and electronics were drawn into the sweatshop spotlight (Frost & Burnett, 2007). The discussion of electronic sweatshops has evolved differently than the earlier 1990s anti-sweatshop movement. The media channels through which these issues are discussed have evolved, the activist groups have changed, different corporations have been targeted, and the social and economic climate is different. This paper will examine a sample of the new electronic sweatshop discourse with a case study of media texts reporting on the labour issues associated with the production of Apple products at the Foxconn factories in China in This year is particularly relevant for analysis because after several years of media attention targeting Apple and Foxconn for labour abuses, Apple announced in early 2012 that they would work with an independent factory-auditing group to assess their supply chain issues. The proceedings from this announcement can be compared to the experience of Nike and other manufacturers targeted for sweatshop practices in the 1990s, and the discussion of the issues created an opportunity for corporations, governments, social actors, and consumers to discuss labour issues and respond. Media reporting is highly influential in directing public opinion on international issues, so the portrayal and presentation of these events in the media is important to consider. To explore this, news reports will be examined from print news media using The New York Times newspaper articles, and online media with YouTube videos. A media framing analysis will be used to evaluate how the articles and videos have presented the issues. Frames drawn from previous studies of sweatshop framing in newspapers will be used in combination with new frames created in this analysis to capture the evolution of ideas in the 2012 media. This paper has three goals: first, to evaluate how these labour issues have been framed in
11 3 traditional and online media in 2012; second, to consider the difference between the newspaper and video frames; and third, to discuss the significance of the framing in each medium. RE.+6:&.'!.8!79,$:53.*5!&'!7.0&$+!B.'50&.65',55!! The convention of describing abusive workplaces as sweatshops evolved from language used to describe labour relationships in Britain during the nineteenth century. The term sweated trades was used to describe work with low wage rates, excessive labour hours, and unsanitary workplaces (Ross, 2004). Workers, described as the sweated, had their labour extracted by a contractor, the sweater (Ross, 2004). The emergence of this work relationship was a product of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of capitalism in Britain. The discussion of these issues can be traced in literature and publications as people grappled with the ethical problems of the sweated trades. In 1844, Friedrich Engels was the first to formally publicize concerns about the plight of workers by publishing The Condition of the Working Class in England. In the 1840s, the word sweating was associated primarily with tailoring and shoemaking in London, but by the 1850s, the word usage had expanded into common vocabulary and appeared in newspapers to describe many trades (Schmiechen, 1984). In 1849, Charles Kingsley wrote the book Alton Locke describing the life of a young tailor, and published an essay Cheap Clothes and Nasty in 1850, arousing sympathy for people in the sweated trades (Cadbury & Shann, 1923/2012). The British House of Lords conducted an investigation in 1888 and suggested that sweating was characterized by: 1) an unduly low rate of wages; 2) excessive hours of labour; 3) the unsanitary state of the houses in which the work is carried on (1890). The discussion of labour practices continued in industrializing countries as workers sought jobs in urban centers, and more industries became associated with poor working
12 4 conditions. In 1892, Florence Kelly from the Bureau of Statistics of Labor of Illinois described the sweating system as a surviving remnant of the industrial system which preceded the factory system, when industry was chiefly conducted on the piece-price plan, in small shops or the homes of the workers (1893, p. 357). Campaigning against labour abuses resulted in the establishment of trade boards and minimum wages in Australia in the 1890s (Australia Trade Union Archives, 2010), in Britain in the 1900s (Blackburn, 1988), and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union was established in the United States in the 1900s (Tyler, 1995). Further recognition and resolve for preventing sweatshops came after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City in 1911, and more factory regulations, wage laws, safety codes and trade unions were introduced (Ross, 2004). With the rise of global neoliberal economic and social policies in the late 1970s, deregulated markets introduced a freer flow of capital, labour and goods across national borders (Pearson & Seyfang, 2001). By the mid 1990s, the relocation of garment industries from the Western world to the developing world was occurring at an accelerated pace (Sluiter, 2009). Many small manufacturers were merged or bought out by large garment producers, and manufacturing was moved overseas. Several incentives prompted factory relocation as cheap labour was readily available abroad, the governments of developing countries usually encouraged foreign investment with tax breaks and favourable legislation, and companies could avoid the risks associated with managing and maintaining a labour force (Sluiter, 2009). Transnational companies (TNCs) gained significant power and autonomy with the opening of the global market. Emerging market economies and newly industrialized countries often lack effective regulatory measures, and companies often take advantage of this legal flexibility to reduce business expenses by paying below minimum wage, or by not purchasing
13 5 safety equipment (Ross, 2004). Furthermore, when subcontractors coordinate manufacturing, TNC managers can focus their efforts on merchandising and selling the product (Sluiter, 2009). Many corporations like Nike grew remarkably from the early 1970s to the late 1990s by using low-wage labour, and by boosting their extensive marketing and advertising efforts (Carty, 2002). As production manufacturing has largely been moved out of Western industrialized countries, the use of sweatshop labour has become an issue of international scale. The situation becomes increasingly complex with more social, political and economic actors involved, and the product consumers become physically and ideologically distanced from the workers and context where the goods were made. Many international movements protesting sweatshops began in the early 1990s to reconnect consumers with an awareness of how sportswear, clothing and toys were produced. Awareness of these issues was aided by globalization and electronic media which created more connections between producers and consumers (Carty, 2002). With a common theme to demand global corporate social responsibility and respect for human rights, the anti-sweatshop movement united dispersed groups of activists from labour, human rights, and religious causes (Carty, 2002). Movement supporters used a variety of tactics including protests, media exposés, congressional hearings, and lawsuits, to demand action (Carty, In 1979, the first major article exposing sweatshops was published in the New York Magazine, and reports by NBC and CBS followed in 1980 and 1981 (Ross, 2004). Academics picked up the discussion in 1983, and American investigations into sweatshops in the apparel industry increased (Ross, 2004). In the 1990s, media attention towards sweatshops was initially low, but increased quickly with the introduction of new labour rights organizations (Ross, 2004). In 1991, the Clean Clothes Campaign was founded in The Netherlands and U.S. labour rights
14 6 activist, Jeff Ballinger, initiated the campaign against Nike after investigating factories in Indonesia (Connor, 2004). In 1992, the National Labor Committee generated significant media coverage about factories in El Salvador and Honduras (Connor, 2004). Further media attention was raised with a U.S. Labor Department raid on a sweatshop in El Monte, California in 1995, where illegal immigrants from Thailand were forced to sew garments (Ross, 2004). In 1996, activist Charles Kernaghan and the National Labor Committee revealed that Kathie Lee Gifford s clothing line was manufactured with child labour in Honduras (Ross, 2004). Ross conducted an analysis of the media response to these issues, and the El Monte case tripled the coverage of sweatshop stories in The Los Angeles Times, and the Gifford episode resulted in additional stories in The New York Times (2004). In 1996, the anti-sweatshop movement gained momentum with groups of student activists in the United States who challenged their universities to become sweat-free campuses by advocating for campus logo clothing to be produced sweat-free (Ross, 2004). There were many news stories about the college anti-sweatshop movement, and in 1999 there was coverage about protests in Seattle for the coalition against corporate globalization (Ross, 2004). In 2001 and 2002, coverage of sweatshop issues left the front pages as news attention was directed to September 11 attacks and Iraq (Ross, 2004). S,$56#&'(!B$%*$&('!R88,0:&E,',55! To assess the effectiveness of anti-sweatshop public disclosure campaigns, Rock analyzed the stock price fluctuations of several multinational garment makers, shoemakers, and retailers in response to the exposure of anti-sweatshop campaigns. He found that on days when negative news about the firms sweatshop practices was published, 64.4% of the abnormal stock market returns for those firms were negative. This high correlation between negative news and
15 7 negative stock prices validates the public disclosure tactics used by anti-sweatshop activists. It also suggests why some firms were motivated to respond quickly by publishing codes of conduct or aligning with industry labour groups to improve their public image (2003). Furthermore, Rock considered the impact of Reebok s announcements to improve their supply chain standards, and found that 75% of their good news events returned stock results that were abnormally positive (2003). These insights demonstrate that public disclosure of bad and good labour practices imposes costs and rewards firms for their behaviours but Rock emphasizes that, by itself, this finding is not sufficient to ensure that the labour practices of these firms will actually improve (2003, p. 30). Some firms may use these announcements for public relations efforts without taking tangible actions to change labour practices (Rock, 2003). Bartley and Child examined the effects of anti-sweatshop campaigns on sales, stock performance, reputation, and U.S. firm ratings (2011). They found that social movements can shape the markets and fields of specifically targeted firms by negatively affecting sales, influencing stock prices, and shaping specialized ratings of corporate responsibility (2011). The naming and shaming practices of social campaigns were effective on targeted firms, but did not have an effect on the overall industry or alter reputational hierarchies within the business community (Bartley & Child, 2011). This suggests that activists may have an impact on the profits and reputation of a specific, targeted firm, but their protests have not resulted in industrywide impacts, or dramatic shifts within the business community. 29,':GN8:!B,':6#G!79,$:53.*5! Since 2003, the production of electronics has also been called into question by labour watchdogs, sparking a growing movement to make corporations, consumers and policy makers aware of the conditions in which computers and electronic gadgets are produced (Frost &
16 8 Burnett, 2007; China Labor Watch, 2012). Factories in the electronic industry face the challenge of learning from their twentieth century predecessors to create global supply chains without sweatshops, ecological destruction, social dislocations, disease and deepening poverty. (Brown, 2009, para. 35). Brown argues that these factories will become twenty-first century sweatshops if the electronic industry does not make changes and lead supply chain reforms (2009). In 2006, Apple was first associated with sweatshop practices with a report from the British newspaper Mail on Sunday, that reported unfair pay and work hours in the production of ipods at Foxconn, a third party manufacturing plant in China (Frost & Burnett, 2007). Unlike other sweatshop exposés, the story initially spread through online discussions before traditional media sources picked up the story and contributed to the discussion (Frost & Burnett, 2007). Other electronic companies have also been questioned about their supply chain practices, but Apple has received a significant portion of the media attention. T#($'&U&'(!D,5&5:$'0,!&'!F,9!S,-&$!R'E&#.'%,':5! Student activists campaigning in the mid 1990s anti-sweatshop movement have been studied for their use of the Internet in organizing protests and rallying support for action against targeted TNCs. Bullert explains that the new media environment enabled student groups in the 1990s to effectively mobilize their campaigns with student coordinators utilizing and websites to coordinate action (2000). Bennett argues that online communication does more for activists than simply reducing the cost of communication, and transcending geographical and temporal barriers (2003). Online activism communication also facilitates loosely structured networks, weak identity ties, and broad networks that can be transformative for both individuals and networks of people (Bennett, 2003). Carty argues that the Internet has proved to be a medium that enhances the interconnectedness and consciousness of groups and individuals on a
17 9 global scale. This has opened up the possibilities for social relations between global workers, activists, and concerned citizens across national boundaries (2002, p. 144). These online networks also allow workers who may be unable to speak publicly in their own countries, to voice concerns in a supportive network with an international audience (Bullert, 2000). Spreading information through the new networked economy has also given activists the power to reach large numbers of people through micromedia at limited or no cost (Carty, 2002). Before this environment was available, activists had difficulty competing with TNCs like Nike, who could easily pay a few million dollars to reach millions of viewers with an advertisement (Carty, 2002). Now, online communication tools allow grassroots news to spread quickly, and stories have the potential to be filtered up to mass media as well (Carty, 2002). While new media offers independent voices the opportunity to reach large numbers of people through new media, many traditional news groups have also expanded into the new media environment. For example, Burgess and Green (2009) explain that many powerful media companies have joined YouTube because it offers substantial reach and potential viral distribution. It is possible that the introduction of corporate influence reduces YouTube s grassroots interactivity to a one-way conversation limiting the democratizing power of YouTube, but Burgess and Green argue that the situation is more complex because YouTube has always been a commercial enterprise (2009, p.90). YouTube is representative of a changing media environment, but it is also the site of dynamic and emergent relations between market and non-market, social and economic activity (2009, p. 90). This interplay between amateur and commercial voices creates both a challenge and opportunity for activists, and offers a diverse medium for viewers to explore different perspectives on an issue.
18 10 D,E&,9!.8!F,95!"#$%&'(! V3$:!&5!$!"#$%,W! A frame is a device in a news story that builds associations between concepts to encourage readers to think about an issue in a particular way (Tewksbury & Dietram, 2009). News articles can be thought of as packages containing information and ideas that influence how people understand issues, and the core component of the package is the frame: a central organizing idea or story line that provides meaning to an unfolding strip of events (Gamson and Modigliani, 1987, p.143, as cited in Scheufele, 1999). The frame presents an understanding of an issue by synthesizing the information in a particular way. V3$:!&5!"#$%&'(W! The process of framing occurs in the construction of a text. Any text is likely to have certain aspects accentuated so that it presents a succinct and coherent representation of complicated phenomena. In the process, select people will be consulted, certain perspectives will be referenced, particular interpretations will be articulated, and not all dimensions can be included. A frame is created as some parts of reality are accentuated and the information is organized to create a story line thread for readers to follow (Tewksbury & Dietram, 2009). Entman put forward a definition for the practice: to frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation (1993, p. 52). Entman explains that frames define problems, diagnose causes, make moral judgments, and suggest remedies (1993). As a research practice, framing has been adopted widely, but not used consistently (Reese
19 ). Generally, framing is used to understand the way [original emphasis] that certain attributes come to be associated with particular issues (Reese, 2007, p. 152). There have been efforts to make framing research more consistent by developing processes for interpreting frames and audience perspectives, but framing research as a research tool for media analysis is still being developed (De Vreese, 2005). V3.!&5!D,5*.'5&=+,!8.#!"#$%&'(W! The process of constructing a frame is influenced by many social factors. It is often associated with the individual journalists who assemble a news story, but there is a growing recognition that frames are an evolving social process, composed of numerous public influences and opinions (Van Grop, 2009). A reporter may choose to emphasize certain themes in a news article to make it relevant to other current events, the story may be altered by a news editor to be more congruent with a newspaper viewpoint, or it might be shaped by cultural expectations. The textual structure of a media text is the product of all these numerous social influences. O&56$+!"#$%&'(! Since newspaper stories often include images, and YouTube videos are primarily a visual medium, it is important to consider what dimensions are added to the viewer or reader s framing experience when the medium is primarily visual or has visual components. Considering visual framing is important because viewers may accept visual information as reality without being aware of the influence of visual framing (Messaris & Abraham, 2001). DeLuca and Peeples argue that individuals increasingly rely on the media s dissemination of images and claims about the world to form understandings, rather than forming knowledge through rational dialogue with other people (2002).
20 12 Graphic images accompanying news articles have been shown to draw attention to stories, and influence perception of the issues. News photos may also be noticed by readers even when they did not read the article (Messaris & Abraham, 2001). In a controlled study of visual framing by Arpan, Baker, Lee, Jung, Lorusso and Smith, different photographs of social protests were presented to readers with the same verbal framing (2006). It was found that the news stories with negative photographs of social protests caused viewers to feel more negatively about the cause. When more conflict is shown, such as protestors screaming or waving signs, in comparison to people signing petitions around a table, viewers have a more negative evaluation of the protest and protestors. This suggests that visuals alone have the power to affect how people process news stories (Arpan et al., 2006). 7&('&8&0$'0,!.8!"#$%&'(! The impact of framing in media texts is recognized by Reese who argues: frames are organizing principles that are socially shared and persistent over time, that work symbolically to meaningfully structure the social world (2007, p.11). Reese emphasizes that frames can organize experience, they can be shared, and they may persist in culture. He also stresses the dynamic quality of frames and their ability to project knowledge ahead by guiding the structures of incoming experience (2007, p. 150). When news topics are of a subject unfamiliar to the reader or viewer, such as international news, the frames of the stories become informative and orient the reader within that topic (Groshek, 2008). This is relevant for studying international issues because news reports and journalist stories are the primary way through which people are informed of issues and events that are out of the realm of an individual s everyday experience. Frames are significant in structuring how people understand and make sense of issues. Nisbet explains that media frames work by connecting the mental dots for the public, and after
21 13 an audience has been exposed to a framed message, they accept or are at least aware of the connection (2009, p. 47). Ross argues that the frames used in media stories can influence support for different public policies. In media reports from the El Monte sweatshop issue, many news reports framed the issue with reference to the large number of immigrants who had worked there. Ross conducted a test with students and found that people who had read an article that reported the story with reference to immigrants, were more likely to agree with immigration restriction as a solution and less likely to take a pro-labor view of the matter than those who read an article that did not make reference to immigrants at the factory (Ross, 2004). Nisbet argues that framing is most effective when the connections drawn in a new story resonate with an audience s existing mental associations and if the frame draws connections that are not relevant to something a segment of the public already values or understands, then the message is likely to be ignored or to lack personal significance (2009, p. 48). In an effort to ensure that news articles are well received, journalists may rely on established frames rather than integrating new perspectives.!
22 14 B$5,!7:6-G! Sweatshop issues have been a media highlight since the nineteenth century, but the discussion has evolved over time with different actors, circumstances and media perspectives shaping the portrayal of the problems. With more recent attention to the circumstances surrounding the production of consumer electronics, this paper will focus on the coverage of labour issues associated with Foxconn and Apple throughout The Foxconn factory has received a lot of media attention with stories of worker suicides, explosions, and riots, and Apple has been most prominently associated with these issues despite Foxconn producing electronic components for many companies. This relationship will be studied through newspaper articles and YouTube videos to analyze how these actors and issues were associated and discussed. )**+,!$'-!"./0.''! Apple is an American company incorporated in California in Apple designs Mac personal computers, software, ipod digital music players, the iphone mobile phone, and ipad devices for mobile media and computing (Apple Inc., n.d.). In 2012, the company had 72,800 permanent full-time employees and 3,300 temporary full-time employees worldwide, and its worldwide annual revenue in 2012 was 156 billion USD (Apple Inc., 2012a). Foxconn Technology Group is part of Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd, a Taiwanese multinational contract manufacturing company founded in Foxconn specializes in joint-design, joint-development, manufacturing, assembly and after-sales services to global computer, communication and consumer electronics leaders (Foxconn Technology Group, 2007). Hon Hai s revenues for 2011 were 116 billion USD (Bloomberg Businessweek, n.d.). Foxconn makes over forty percent of the world s electronic products and is China s largest and most prominent private employer with 1.2 million workers (Duhigg & Greenhouse, 2012).
23 15 B3&'$!B.':,/:! Economic globalization in China has accelerated with the adoption of free-market policies and an influx of foreign direct investment (FDI). The Chinese government introduced open-door policies in the late 1970s and set up Special Economic Zones in the 1980s in Guangdong Province, Fujian Province and in coastal cities in other provinces, to attract FDI (Chan & Peng, 2011). FDI increased in China from 1.3 billion USD in 1984 to 92.4 billion USD in 2008 (Chinability n.d., as cited in Chan & Peng, 2011). In 2009, China became the world s second largest recipient of FDI, second to the United States (Sung, Lifei and Yanping, 2011, as cited in Chan & Peng, 2011). Companies like Foxconn demonstrate the success of China s export-led development as Foxconn grew to become China s largest exporter in the twenty years since its first investment in 1988 (Chan & Pun, 2010). Chan and Peng argue that many of China s internal factors have exacerbated the exploitation of China s labour forces (2011). China has labour legislation in place, but there is little incentive for local government officials to enforce standards because they are primarily motivated to attract foreign investment to their region. China lacks an independent national judicial system for implementing labour legislation and trade unions are not independent. Chinese workers cannot establish their own unions, and instead they are represented by the All- China Federation of Trade Unions, which puts emphasis on political stability rather than labour rights (Chan & Peng, 2011). Young migrant workers from rural areas primarily staff factories in the Special Economic Zones. Workers are housed near factories in large communal multi-story buildings where rooms and faculties are shared (Pun & Smith, 2007). The unique circumstances characterizing this situation in China have been described as the dormitory labour regime (Pun & Smith, 2007).
24 16 Housing workers close to the factory has created a system that is more competitive and flexible than other labour systems because the spatial proximity helps meet just-in-time production deadlines by imposing overtime work and lengthening the workday (Pun & Chan, 2013, p.182). Providing dormitories for migrant workers facilitates a continuous flow of fresh labour from the countryside that depresses wages and deters union organization due to the high turnover rate (Pun & Yu, 2008). The Chinese dormitory regime discourages long-term relationships with the firm, and is designed for short-term contracts with young, single workers (Pun & Yu, 2008). The dormitories provide communal, gender divided living arrangements that extinguish family life as people are disconnected from their families and frequently separated from friends (Pun & Chan, 2013). Pun and Chan argue that young workers in the dormitory labour regime at Foxconn experience alienation in the classic Marxist sense (2013, p. 187). Foxconn s flexible manufacturing system uses the worker s labour as a commodity organized into a twenty-fourhour nonstop operation dedicated to satisfying global consumers demand for electronic gadgets (Pun & Chan, 2013, p. 187). Political and economic alliances between the government and the market ensure that these conditions are maintained (Pun & Smith, 2007). However, recent labour shortages that have emerged in coastal cities have given workers a limited opportunity to leverage better wages, and the newer generation of rural migrant workers are better educated, more aware of their rights, and more likely to demand better work conditions (Pun & Chan, 2013). B3#.'.+.(G!.8!RE,':5!! While this case study focuses on the media coverage of events in 2012, it is relevant to consider the development of these issues with a larger perspective to understand the context. The
25 17 following timeline highlights some of the major events associated with Apple and Foxconn in China from 2005 to >??X Apple s code of conduct was developed in 2005 and states that working conditions in Apple s supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible (Duhigg & Barboza, 2012, Apple s Code of Conduct, para. 1). >??J British newspaper, Mail on Sunday, investigated a Foxconn factory making ipods and reported 15 hour work days, low wages, crowded dorms, forced overtime, and workers unable to sit or rest while on shift (Frost & Burnett, 2007). >??K Apple began publishing information from annual factory audits, but specific factories were not named (Duhigg & Barboza, 2012). >??L! Y$'6$#G1 A non-profit, Businesses for Social Responsibility (BSR), initiated a project in 2006 with the World Bank to improve working conditions in factories manufacturing electronics. Foxconn agreed to participate, but made numerous demands for concessions before the start of the program in January 2008 so the program could not proceed (Duhigg & Barboza, 2012). >??P! S$#031 A report from three NGOs highlighted the labour conditions at four factories in Guangdong Province that manufacture products for Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, Philips, and Sony. The most common problems were recruitment discrimination, high percentage of student interns and contract labour, low wages, excessive working hours, negative health effects, punitive fines, disrespecting union rights, and poor conditions in dormitories (Sustainalytics, 2013) 1. Y6+G1 Foxconn employee Sun Danyong committed suicide after being interrogated about a missing iphone 4 prototype. It was reported that he was detained and beaten (Sustainalytics, 2013). ",=#6$#G1 Apple discovered labour violations from audits conducted in 2009 and published them in its 2010 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report. Issues included excessive recruitment fees, underage workers, hazardous waste disposal and falsified records (Sustainalytics, 2013). 1 Sustainalytics provides global investors and financial institutions with comprehensive analytics of corporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance (Sustainalytics, 2013). Their resources are used to evaluate companies and consider ESG factors when choosing investments. Sustainalytics research, compiled from third party reports and articles, was used in this paper to identify important events that have influenced Apple s corporate reputation.
26 18 ",=#6$#G1 Apple reports workers at a supplier, United Win Technology (Wintek) in Suzhou were poisoned with a chemical, n-hexane, which was used to polish touch screens for Apple products. Further investigations and media reports revealed workers were asked to leave their jobs, and to receive compensation they were required to sign an agreement absolving Wintek from responsibility if their health worsened in the future (Sustainalytics, 2013). S$G1 The Hong Kong based NGO, Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) published a report detailing a series of eight suicides and two suicide attempts, since the beginning of 2010 (Chan, 2010). Y6',1 Steve Jobs claimed the Foxconn factory is not a sweatshop by explaining that the suicide rate is lower than the rate for the United States, and he stated that Apple was managing the situation (Beaumont, 2010). Y6+G1 Mike Daisey began performing The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a monologue performance describing the factory conditions Daisey witnessed on a visit to China (Smith, 2011). T0:.=,#1 SACOM published a report discussing the fourteen suicides and four suicide attempts that occurred since the beginning of 2010 (Chan & Cheng, 2010). ",=#6$#G1 Apple reported in its 2011 Supplier Responsibility Progress Report that 91 children under the age of 16 were discovered working in undisclosed Chinese supplier factories during 2010 audits (Sustainalytics, 2013). S$#031 SACOM published a video showing employees exposed to aluminum dust from polishing electronic cases (Sustainalytics, 2013). S$G1!"#!explosion at Foxconn s factory in Chengdu that produces the ipad 2 killed four workers and injured 18 others. The inspection by Hon Hai indicated the explosion was caused by aluminum dust in a ventilation duct (Sustainalytics, 2013). )6(65:1 Workers that were poisoned at the Wintek factory announced that they had not received an apology from Apple (Sustainalytics, 2013). 4,0,%=,#1 An explosion at Riteng Computer Accessory Co., owned by Pegatron Corp, injured 61 workers. The explosion resulted from aluminum dust from insufficient ventilation where ipad 2 cases were being manufactured (Sustainalytics, 2013). Y$'6$#G1 A group of 150 Chinese workers at Foxconn s Wuhan facility threatened to commit suicide in protest of working conditions due to a recent factory decision to move 600 workers to a new production line that was more dangerous without adequate compensation, and without training (Sustainalytics, 2013).
27 19 Y$'6$#G1 Apple released list of suppliers, but did not include the factory locations, or the names of companies that work indirectly with Apple through other suppliers (Duhigg & Barboza, 2012). Y$'6$#G1 Articles in The New York Times questioned Apple s commitment to resolving labour issues (Sustainalytics, 2013).! ",=#6$#G1 Apple announced factory investigations with the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Several electronic consumer groups express concern that Apple s involvement with the FLA is a publicity stunt. Protestors petitioned several Apple retail locations demanding more transparency from Apple, and requested a system to diffuse the high-stress environment created by new product releases (Sustainalytics, 2013). S$#031 Apple s chief executive, Timothy Cook, visited Foxconn (Drew, 2012). S$#031 The FLA released audit results from multiple Foxconn factories. Issues were related to long working hours, health and safety, and overtime. Foxconn committed to reducing work week hours to the legal Chinese maximum of 49 hours by July 1, 2013, and agreed to work further with the FLA to address wages and worker participation in union structures. SACOM criticized the report for not addressing issues of student intern labour, work stress, inhumane treatment, and worker punishment (Sustainalytics, 2013). S$#031 A report by NPR (formerly, National Public Radio) publicized statements from workers indicating that Apple inspected the Riteng factory before the explosion in May 2011, and workers were not given any compensation from Apple until after NPR got involved, after which they received phone calls and $800 USD (Sustainalytics, 2013). S$#031 Radio show The American Life retracted their coverage of Mike Daisey s show The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, from January They investigated his claims and found many of the statements he presented as facts to be fabricated (Isherwood, 2012). This spurs further discussion about the circumstances at the factories. Y6',1 China Labor Watch published a report revealing that labour rights violations at Foxconn occur at all other Apple suppliers and in some cases the violations are worse. Other suppliers include Toyo Precision Appliance, BYD Electronic (International) Co., Quanta Computer Inc, Wintek Corp, Riteng Computer Accessory Co., and Jabil Circuit Inc (China Labor Watch, 2012). 7,*:,%=,#1 Foxconn factories in Zhenghou are accused of forcing student interns to work on production lines to meet demand for the iphone 5. The Chinese press reported hundreds of students from Huai an, Jiangsu Province being threatened to work or they would not graduate (Sustainalytics, 2013).
28 20 7,*:,%=,#1 Worker at Apple supplier Foxlink (also known as Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co. Ltd.) in Dongguan committed suicide due to harsh treatment from management, and being denied time off over the Chinese national holiday due to pressure to complete iphone 5 orders (Sustainalytics, 2013).! 7,*:,%=,#1 Worker riots at a Foxconn factory in Taiyuan temporarily closed the factory, causing many to question whether this will delay iphone 5 production. Labour groups explain that workers are more aware of their rights and willing to stand up to injustice (Barboza & Bradsher, 2012). T0:.=,#1!China Labor Watch reported a series of organized strikes at the Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, which Foxconn dismissed as isolated disputes. On October 8th, an estimated 3000 to 4000 workers participated in a walkout to express dissatisfaction with unreasonable production expectations and workers receiving insufficient training (Sustainalytics, 2013). This timeline illustrates how attention to Apple s supply chain management issues has escalated since 2006 with an increasing number of labour issues at Foxconn being connected to Apple. It also shows the progression of Apple s efforts to address negative publicity, from publishing supplier responsibility reports, to addressing or avoiding issues on a case by case basis, and seeking involvement from the Fair Labor Association. The sequence of events in 2012, from Apple and Foxconn s commitment to changes early in the year and the resurgence of labour problems surrounding the release of the iphone 5 in September, indicate that this is an unresolved ongoing issue, and that Apple and the issues at Foxconn remain publicly associated. D,+,E$'0,!.8!:3,!B$5,!7:6-G! Examining how Apple and Foxconn labour abuses have been discussed in The New York Times and on YouTube in 2012 is important because the media framing can influence how people think about these issues, and conflicts can become missing stories if journalists ignore an issue (Russell, 2006, as cited in Nisbet, 2009). News media coverage from the year 2012 was selected because there were several
29 21 developments in this time frame that were significant to electronic TNCs and factory workers in China. After years of news stories about labour abuses in the media connected with Apple, the company responded in early 2012 with an effort to publicly address the problems. These developments were met with praise and criticism throughout the year as labour unrest continued into late This case study can also be considered within a larger time frame of changing attitudes and awareness about sweatshops. From the early discussions of the localized sweating system, to the debate surrounding globalized international sweatshops for toys, clothing and sportswear, this case with Apple and Foxconn represents a new wave of sweatshop awareness associated with electronics. Z$5:!79,$:53.*!"#$%&'(!D,5,$#03! Several media studies have analyzed the framing of sweatshops in newspapers, and some research has analyzed the coverage of issues connected to Foxconn and Apple. These studies are referenced to consider the development of media sweatshop discussions, and to form the framing methodology for this study. Ross (2004) examines media coverage of the El Monte story in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times from May 1997 to May 1998, and found a strong presence of an immigrant-ethnic frame because the factory was staffed with illegal immigrant workers from Thailand. He found that the newspaper coverage largely framed the sweatshop issue around immigration policy rather than working condition policies (Ross, 2004). Through a study with undergraduate students, Ross (2004) found that readers who read news stories with the immigrant-ethnic frame were more likely to blame immigrants for the sweatshop conditions and agree with immigration restrictions rather than addressing labour laws (Ross, 2004).
30 22 Greenberg and Knight (2004) examine U.S. newspaper coverage of Nike sweatshops from 1995 to 2000 and consider how the news coverage was structured, how sweatshops were problematized, and how they were explained. Greenberg and Knight found that the news stories about sweatshops emphasized consumer awareness of sweat-free products rather than connecting readers to the lives of sweatshop workers. They identified this as a consumer versus producer frame that they argue downplays the political aspects of sweatshop issues. To correct this representation, they suggest sweatshop issues could be investigated using a capital versus labour frame to emphasize the fundamental opposition between the workers labour and profits, and recognize the force of neoliberalism in the global sweatshop chain (Greenberg & Knight, 2004). Guo, Hsu, Holton and Jeong (2012) studied how newspapers in the United States and China framed the coverage of suicides at Foxconn. They studied a total of 92 stories from The New York Times, and three Chinese newspapers, China Daily, People s Daily, and Southern Weekend. News stories were collected from July 19, 2009, the day of the first suicide, to September 19, 2010, one month after the last of the 14 suicides (Guo et al, 2012). Guo et al., found that Chinese newspapers frequently framed the suicides as a psychological issue with young workers, while the U.S. newspaper used a human rights abuser frame, and all newspapers framed the issue as a China-specific problem rather than considering the issue as a product of the world economy and global social justice (2012).!
31 23 D,5,$#03&'(!!"#$%#&$'()*$!+,#-!$'-!<.626=,! D,+,E$'0,!.8!F,95*$*,#!$'-!O&-,.!S,-&$! Using newspaper stories to study media framing is useful because newspapers influence policy trends (Holt & Barkemeyer, 2012). The New York Times is particularly relevant to study because it has intermedia agenda-setting power, and strong relationships with other national and local news sources (Carroll, 2011). Grant (2005) argues the Times is treated as the professional setter of standards because editors and producers often consider how The Times has reported stories, and many of the Times front-page stories find their way into television programs and magazines (p. 180, as cited in Carroll, 2011). Internationally, many English newspapers utilize The New York Times syndicated news service for articles, pictures, and background information, which expands the reach of The Times perspective globally. The Times is also useful for this study because several preceding studies have used The Times to analyze the discussion of sweatshops in the media, so findings are more comparable. The discussion of Foxconn and Apple labour issues within YouTube videos is also relevant for this study because many people seek information from new media electronic sources. Within Canada, YouTube has become the second largest search engine after Google (6S Marketing, 2012). Canadians watch an hour of online video on an average day, and 80% of those videos are watched on YouTube (6S Marketing, 2012). Additionally, while not everyone may be searching for videos, video reaches 91% of Canadians because YouTube results are integrated into Google search results (6S Marketing, 2012). The Pew Research Center for People and the Press (2010) has reported a steady decline in the consumption of print news among Americans, and found that while two-thirds of all news customers in the U.S. use traditional news sources, new media has been integrated into their news consumption patterns. Print media is no longer the
32 24 only resource for news information, and audiences are dispersing with the greater variety of news channels available online. Bennett argues conventional news is withering from the erosion of audiences [...] and from the fragmentation of remaining audiences as channels multiply and he suggests the rise of electronic public spheres may ultimately become the model for public information in many areas of politics (2003, p.165). Bennett explains that the electronic public sphere includes both traditional and oppositional news, and this is true in the case of YouTube, where content from large established media organizations can be found alongside content from oppositional and individual producers. Within electronic public spheres, the boundaries between different ideological positions will eventually become more permeable to allow citizens to freely engage in an array of political activities without ideological barriers (Bennett, 2003). It could be argued that YouTube is one of these electronic public spheres because political information is available from an array of different ideological frameworks. To balance the discussion of The Times presentation of labour issues in China, YouTube videos will be considered as a sample of communication from the realm of new media. D,:#&,E&'(!!"#$%#&$'()*$!+,#-!)#:&0+,5! A search of The New York Times articles was conducted using the search engine Factiva. The search was limited to articles from The Times, published from January 1, 2012 to December 31, Keywords and Boolean operators were used to retrieve articles related to Apple and Foxconn labour issues. To ensure relevant articles containing different keywords would not be missed, the search phrase (sweatshop or Foxconn) and (Apple or China) was used. A total of 57 unique articles were returned from the search. Twenty of the articles were relevant and written by The Times journalists. These articles are used in the framing analysis of this study. Of the other 37 articles, 27 were written by The Times journalists with a focus on other
33 25 topics, but the discussion related to Apple and Foxconn labour issues. Five articles were about unrelated topics and only mention Apple, Foxconn, China or sweatshops in passing, four were sourced from Reuters rather than written by a New York Times journalist, and one was a corrections notice. See Table 1 for a breakdown list of the search results. Table 1 Breakdown of The New York Times Search Results Description # Of Items Articles relevant to Apple or Foxconn labour issues in China: 20 Related articles: Articles discussing Mike Daisey monologue 6 Articles discussing sweatshops outside China 5 Articles discussing China politics / economics 5 Articles discussing U.S. technology industry 4 27 Inside the Times headline summaries 4 Articles discussing China / Taiwan relations 2 Article discussing factory robotics 1 Unused articles: Unrelated articles 5 Articles sourced from Reuters 4 10 Correction notice 1 TOTAL 57 D,:#&,E&'(!<.626=,!O&-,.5! A video search was conducted on YouTube to collect a sample of videos that would be representative of the popular videos published about Apple and Foxconn s labour issues in The worldwide viewing location option on YouTube was selected prior to conducting the search to ensure that the video results would not be tailored to Canadian or American specific content. The search was conducted in the English (U.S.) with the safety search filter turned off to avoid blocking any videos flagged as objectionable by other YouTube users. Four different keyword combinations were used to retrieve videos: Sweatshop Apple, Sweatshop China,
34 26 Foxconn Apple, and Foxconn China. These words were chosen to replicate the search phrase used to search The New York Times archive (sweatshop or Foxconn) and (Apple or China), and to imitate simple searches that a YouTube viewer might perform. Videos selected for this analysis had to be published on YouTube in 2012, and the video content had to be relevant to the labour issues in China associated with Apple and Foxconn. A total of ten videos from the results of the four searches were selected for framing analysis. To focus on videos that YouTube users would most likely encounter, videos that appeared in the top half of the search results, and videos with high view count numbers (mostly over 10,000), were chosen. Promoted videos and ads that appeared at the top of search results were not considered. Videos identified as relevant to Apple and Foxconn labour issues, but not published in 2012, were totaled to consider the amount of related (but perhaps dated) material available for viewing from these searches (see Table 2). This number is valuable to consider because YouTube does not function like a newspaper. YouTube is a video-sharing website, so if an individual wants to use YouTube to learn about an issue, they will need to perform a search within the website to find relevant videos. The YouTube search engine ranks videos according to relevance, not according to the latest published videos, so it is possible that related videos from 2011 or earlier would appear in search results and be viewed. A video s relevance on YouTube is calculated from three main factors: video relevance to the search query, user engagement, and authority of the video owner (CodexM, n.d.). Firstly, a video will be ranked more relevant if the search query words match words in the video title, video description, and video tags, (video tags are additional identifying keywords supplied by the video uploader to make the video easier to find) (Bolton, 2011). Secondly, videos that have received comments, like ratings, and have been favourited by users, will appear higher in the
35 27 search results (CodexM, n.d.). Thirdly, videos that have been uploaded by trusted or authoritative users will be ranked higher. This is determined by factors such as the video owner s membership age, YouTube channel views, and the number of subscribers on their YouTube channel (CodexM, n.d.). Considering how YouTube ranks videos is important because the ranking calculations promote videos that are more popular, or have been skillfully uploaded and optimized for search engines. A large established news group that have YouTube channels, such as Reuters, ABC News, or The New York Times, will have the resources to develop many optimized videos and be recognized as a trusted user, so their videos will likely appear near the top of the search results. These organizations also benefit from posting their videos on external websites where they receive more views, and in turn, appear more popular within YouTube. For example, a New York Times video was posted in correlation with an article on their website and many people likely viewed this video on The New York Times website, and YouTube usually includes these views in the view count within YouTube. This ultimately influences which videos appear most frequently and accessibly at the top of the search results. See Table 2 for a list of the search terms, the approximate number of videos returned from each search, the number of related videos on the first page, the list of videos selected for framing analysis, and the video view count associated with each selected video. The numbers in this chart were retrieved in February 2013, and these values are approximate.
36 28 Table 2 YouTube Search Results and Video Selection Search terms Sweatshop Apple Sweatshop China Foxconn Apple Foxconn China Total results Relevant videos / / / / 20 Videos selected for View analysis count 1. Inside Look At Apple s Chinese 11,706 Sweatshops! 2. Your IPhone is made in a Sweatshop in 10,323 China!!! 3. Nightline Special Edition ifactory: 102,188 Inside Apple (Foxconn) 4. Foxconn: Apple s hidden side #1 55, The ieconomy: Factory Upgrade Apple News Inside Apple: Changes Made at Foxconn 7. Is Apple To Blame for FoxConn [sic] & China s Labor Controversy? 8. Foxconn riots cause shutdown of a factory in Northern China 9. Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits China Foxconn Manufacturing Plant 10. Foxconn riot exposes dark side of tech glitter 39,040 Uploader username Dancehall Vid R. E. Heubel AsianSpeci alist UpsideTele vision TheNew YorkTimes 11,559 ABCNews 13,330 12,696 motherboar dsorg NMAWorl dedition 9,204 slatester 8,935 ReutersVid eo Video content ABC News Individual ABC News Chaîne de UpsideTel evision NY Times ABC News Individual Next Media Animation Slate News Channel Reuters "#$%&'(!)'$+G5&5!S,:3.-.+.(G! This framing analysis is modeled from the framing process and structure used by Guo et al. (2012), which consists of identifying main frames and sub-frames. Each article and video is
37 29 identified with a maximum of three main frames, and each main frame is associated with a subframe. Main frames refer to the larger idea or perspective, and sub-frames are more focused and indicate the function or specific intentions of the main frame. Guo et al. (2012) identifies three different framing functions: define problems, diagnose causes, and suggest remedies. The coding process used by Guo et al. (2012) was also employed for this analysis: first, sub-frames are identified because they are easier to recognize, and then the sub-frames are used as indicators to identify the main frames. Using main frames and sub-frames is valuable because while the main frame may provide a broad picture of the media s approach to coverage, the sub-frames may further illuminate different perspectives the audience may be exposed to (Guo et al., 2012, p. 491). For example, the article Apple Lists Its Suppliers for 1 st Time, by Wingfield and Duhigg (2012), was found to contain a sub-frame that suggests remedies for the issues at Foxconn by implying Apple could pay more to Foxconn to improve wages and conditions. This was determined as the article contrasted Apple s efforts to improve reporting transparency with their reluctance to make tangible changes. A quote from labour activist Jeff Ballinger explained that Apple had resisted paying the factories more money to reduce overtime hours despite having the financial resources to pay higher prices for the products (Wingfield & Duhigg, 2012). This sub-frame connects to the main frame responsibility or power to create change, which represents the larger trend of journalists identifying different actors as responsible or capable of making changes at Foxconn. This article identified Apple as capable of initiating changes at Foxconn, so it was counted in the responsibility of Apple sub-frame within the responsibility or power to create change main frame. In addition to this, two other sub-frames and main frame
38 30 pairings were identified in the article to represent some of the other prominent perspectives it contained. Frames for this analysis have been drawn from media studies by Guo et al. (2012) and Greenberg and Knight (2004), and some new frames have been added to reflect changing ideas about these issues. It is important to consider existing frames established by other researchers to allow this research to be comparable to existing studies of sweatshops and Foxconn issues. Developing new frames is also essential because there are sentiments expressed in the 2012 articles and videos that could not be captured effectively with the existing frames. The need for new frames demonstrates that the way journalists are discussing these issues is evolving. In the following section, each frame will be explained, the appearance of different subframes will be discussed, and examples from articles and videos will be referenced for illustration of the frame usage and significance. See Table 3 for an overview of the framing findings in The New York Times, and see Appendix 1 for a list of the 20 articles and the frames associated with each article. See Table 4 for an overview of the findings from YouTube, and Appendix 2 for a list of the 10 videos and the frames found within each video.
39 31 Table 3 Appearance and Description of Frames and Sub-Frames in The New York Times Frames and Sub-Frames N = 38 Responsibility or Power to Create Change: Present in articles that attribute responsibility or recognize the power of particular groups to effect change. N = 11 Sub-Frames: Responsibility of Apple (Suggest remedy) N = 5 55% Media attention (Diagnose causes) N = 3 Responsibility of Foxconn (Suggest remedy) N = 2 Power within workers/consumer (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Human Rights Abuser: Identified in articles that emphasized human rights issues and attributed the problems to particular actors. Sub-Frames: Apple primarily responsible (Define problems) N = 4 Foxconn primarily responsible (Define problems) N = 4 All tech companies responsible (Define problems) N = 1 Questioning Corporate Social Responsibility: Expressed in articles that discuss roles and actors in CSR efforts Sub-Frames: Question Fair Labor Association (Define problems) N = 3 Apple s efforts are insufficient (Define problems) N = 2 Changing Environment: Reflected in articles that emphasize how the technology industry or particular social or economic environments are in transition. Sub-Frames: Chinese socio/econ is changing (Diagnose causes) N = 2 Apple is changing (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Apple and Foxconn are changing (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Unrest in China: Occurs in articles that discuss factory unrest. Sub-Frames: Chinese workers aware of rights (Diagnose causes) N = 3 Chinese economy (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Consumption versus Production: Present in articles that focused on the consumer relationship to the production of goods globally. Sub-Frames: Impactful consumer awareness (Diagnose causes) N = 2 Customers not concerned (Define problems) N = 1 Labour versus Capital: Recognition in articles of the conflict between corporate interests and workers on a global scale. Sub-Frames: Reference to conflict between capital and labour N = 2 N = 9 45% N = 5 25% N = 4 20% N = 4 20% N = 3 15% N = 2 10%
40 32 Table 4 Appearance and Description of Frames and Sub-Frames in YouTube Videos Frames and Sub-Frames N = 25 Responsibility or Power to Create Change: Present in videos that attribute responsibility or recognize the power of particular groups to effect change. Sub-Frames: Responsibility of Apple (Suggest remedy) N = 4 N = 6 60% Media attention (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Chinese government (Suggest remedy) N = 1 Human Rights Abuser: Identified in videos that emphasized human rights issues and attributed the problems to particular actors. Sub-Frames: Foxconn primarily responsible (Define problems) N = 4 Chinese government (Define problems) N = 1 All tech companies responsible (Define problems) N = 1 Consumption versus Production: Present in videos that focused on the consumer relationship to the production of goods globally. Sub-Frames: People should be aware (Suggest remedy) N = 4 Customers not concerned (Define problems) N = 1 Changing Environment: Reflected in videos that emphasize how the technology industry or particular social or economic environments are in transition. Sub-Frames: Apple and Foxconn are changing (Diagnose causes) N = 2 Chinese socio/econ is changing (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Not a Sweatshop: Present in videos that express that Foxconn should not be labeled as a sweatshop. Sub-Frames: Explicitly stated (Define problems) N = 1 Implied (Define problems) N = 1 Psych. problem of younger gen. (Diagnose causes) N = 1 Questioning Corporate Social Responsibility: Expressed in videos that discuss roles and actors in CSR efforts Sub-Frames: Apple s efforts are insufficient (Define problems) N = 1 Unrest in China: Occurs in videos that discuss factory unrest. Sub-Frames: Chinese workers aware of rights (Diagnose causes) N = 1 N = 6 60% N = 5 50% N = 3 30% N = 3 30% N = 1 10% N = 1 10%
41 33 )'$+G5&5!.8!"#$%,5!&'!!"#$%#&$'()*$!+,#-!$'-!.'!<.626=,! A total of eight different frames were found between The New York Times articles and the YouTube videos. In this section each of the frames and associated sub-frames will be discussed. Throughout the analysis, the frames and sub-frames are sorted in order of prominence according to results from The Times. Figure 1 illustrates the appearance of main frames from the results. Resp. or Power to Create Change Human Rights Abuser Main Frames Questioning CSR Changing Environment Unrest in China Consumption versus Production Labour versus Capital Not a Sweatshop Percentage of Articles / Videos The New York Times YouTube Figure 1. Comparison of main frames between The New York Times and YouTube findings. D,5*.'5&=&+&:G!.#!Z.9,#!:.!B#,$:,!B3$'(,! This frame was created for this analysis to recognize the tendency of journalists to charge particular groups with the responsibility of correcting problems or driving change in response to the issues at Foxconn. The frame was prominent in both The New York Times articles and YouTube videos, and five different sub-frames were identified between the two samples. In The Times, this frame was identified in 11 out of 20 articles (55%), with four different sub-frames.
42 34 On YouTube, this frame was detected in 6 out of 10 videos (60%), with the appearance of three different sub-frames. Figure 2 shows a comparison of the sub-frame results within this frame. Media The NYT YouTube % 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of Articles / Videos Responsibility of Apple (Suggest remedy) Media attention (Diagnose causes) Responsibility of Foxconn (Suggest remedy) Power within workers/consumers (Diagnose causes) Responsibility of Chinese government (Suggest remedy) Figure 2. Comparison of sub-frames within Responsibility or Power to Create Change frame../012)3,#4$5#-6( :$(2$;668#$ The most prominent sub-frame within the responsibility or power to create change frame suggested that Apple should be responsible for initiating changes in the technology manufacturing industry. This sub-frame appeared in five articles in The New York Times, and in four videos within the YouTube sample. In The New York Times articles, journalists developed arguments to justify why Apple should be held responsible. It was often argued that Apple should lead reforms because they are a leader in the technology manufacturing industry and therefore, have the financial resources and influence to implement changes. Additionally, Apple s self-proclaimed reputation as a leader in corporate social responsibility resulted in calls for Apple to start living up to that promise (Progress Where They Make iphones, 2012, para. 7). In Apple In Shift, Pushes An Audit Of
43 35 Sites In China, Duhigg and Wingfield give reasons why Apple has been given significantly more attention in comparison to other technology manufacturers: Its market value is more than the combined value of Google and Microsoft - and among the richest. Its stock closed Monday at $502.60, up more than 20 percent this year. The company also has a vast overseas presence, with its contractors employing 700,000 people in China and elsewhere. (2012, para. 20) In the YouTube video analysis, this sub-frame emphasized the connection between Apple and Foxconn, even though Foxconn is a major supplier for numerous electronic companies. For example, in Nightline Special Edition ifactory: Inside Apple (Foxconn) journalist Bill Weir introduces the clip: for the first time ever, we open the doors to the factory where all your i- things begin, and all of the video clips show factory workers handling Apple product components, see Figure 3 (AsianSpecialist, 2012). During the video it is mentioned that Foxconn supplies other big electronic manufacturers, but Apple s responsibility and power is further emphasized in an interview with Foxconn representative, Louis Woo, near the end of the video. Weir asks what financial assistance from Apple could do for the factory, and Woo explains how much this could benefit workers, China, and Foxconn (AsianSpecialist, 2012). A contrast between Apple s wealth and the worker s struggles is developed which reflects poorly on Apple and implies that Apple has the power to change this situation.
44 36 Figure 3. Emphasis on Apple products at Foxconn in ABC News video (AsianSpecialist, 2012)../012)3,#4$<#=+3$;99#79+(7$ This sub-frame identifies media attention as a proponent of change in the electronic manufacturing industry. It was identified in three New York Times articles and one YouTube video. This sub-frame is significant because it highlights the media s influence within global industries. In a New York Times article, journalist Porter (2012) argues consumer pressure and bad publicity are recognized for pressuring Apple to create a supplier code of conduct in 2005 and join the Fair Labor Association in In another article published at the end of the year, titled Progress Where They Make iphones, a connection between changes in the industry and articles from The Times is directly made: There are signs that all the negative attention, including reports in this newspaper, has caused companies to make changes (2012, para. 1). In another article it is suggested if activists keep up the pressure, they might help lead to significant improvements in the lives of Foxconn s workers and make us feel better about how our iphones are made (Porter, 2012). As part of the empowered media, journalists and news groups suggest they are activists in their ability to put pressure on companies and organizations involved in the issues.
45 37 From the YouTube analysis, this sub-frame was found in the Inside Apple: Changes Made at Foxconn video from the ABC News investigation. In this clip, media attention is mentioned as a factor contributing to exposure of these issues, and Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, explains that continued media attention would force Apple and Foxconn to keep their promises for reform (ABC News, 2012). This sub-frame is significant because the journalists are identifying themselves as part of the media and capable of provoking changes and ensuring Three sub-frames were found between The New York Times and YouTube suggesting that the responsibility to initiate changes was either within Foxconn s power or a Chinese responsibility. These sub-frames were less prominent, but important to consider for what they suggest about The Times reporting and the ideas expressed on YouTube. In comparison to the five New York Times articles that suggested that Apple had the responsibility to initiate changes, only two articles contained a sub-frame that suggested Foxconn was primarily responsible for initiating changes, despite Foxconn being one of the largest technology manufacturers in China. The Times reporters might have chosen to frame their arguments with reference to Apple because it is a U.S. company and a highly recognizable brand. The news stories would likely be more sensational by relating corporate social responsibility issues to the release of an iphone or ipad, rather than highlighting the responsibilities of a lesserknown company from Taiwan. One article contained a sub-frame that considered Chinese workers and Western consumers to be driving a fundamental shift that could accelerate an already rapidly changing Chinese economy (Barboza & Duhigg, para. 1, 2012). This article suggested workers and
46 38 consumers were gaining influence that was formerly held by Chinese bureaucrats and corporate electronic executives, but it was a small component within a larger article that addressed many factors influencing changes at Foxconn. The lack of consideration given to the Chinese workers ability to create change suggests that The Times journalists did not consider the workers effective agents of change. This may be realistic considering the power of Foxconn, and the structure of the dormitory labour regime limiting the power of workers, but it is also likely that many of the workers acts of protest have been framed as larger societal changes or as issues causing unrest, rather than demonstrations of agency. This view of Chinese workers may be indicative of a U.S. media bias focusing on the economic and corporate aspects of the issue. Neither of these sub-frames were found in the sample of YouTube videos. Within the YouTube results, one video contained a sub-frame that suggested the Chinese government was responsible for overseeing the protection of workers. This frame was not found in any of The Times articles. In this video, Elric Phares, posting with Motherboards.org, defends Apple saying it is only partially their fault and argues the real criminal here is the government; the Government of China. If the Government of China will sit there and allow [this to be done to their] people, they are selling their people out for slavery (edited for clarity) (Motherboards.org, 2012). Phares argues that if people were found chained to desks in America, the government would get right in and arrest people, suggesting that the Chinese government is responsible for the abuses by not acting to investigate Foxconn (Motherboards.org, 2012). [6%$'!D&(3:5!)=65,#! The human rights abuser frame was identified in articles that emphasized human rights issues, such as dangers and abuses to workers, and identified a particular social actor or group as responsible for the abuses. This frame was used by Guo et al. (2012), and was prominent in the
47 39 articles they studied from The New York Times. Almost 80% of the articles from The Times framed the Foxconn suicides from a human rights abuse perspective. In this analysis, the frame appeared in 9 out of 20 of The Times articles (45%), and in 6 out of 10 YouTube videos (60%). Four different sub-frames were found between the two samples, and all of the sub-frames functioned to define problems, which involved describing the human rights concerns, and identifying either Foxconn, Apple, all technology companies, or the Chinese government as responsible for the abuses. Figure 4 shows a comparison of the subframes found with the results. Media The NYT YouTube % 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of Articles / Videos Foxconn primarily responsible (Define problems) Apple primarily responsible (Define problems) All technology companies responsible (Define problems) Chinese government primarily responsible (Define problems) Figure 4. Comparison of sub-frames within Human Rights Abuser Within The New York Times results, both Foxconn and Apple were presented as responsible for the abuses at Foxconn. Each company was presented as primarily responsible for a human rights issue in four articles. In the article In China, the Human Costs Are Built Into an ipad by Dhuigg and Barboza (2012), the authors argue that Apple had known about the hazards in the ipad production line, and did not act to prevent the deadly explosions because they were
48 40 more concerned with meeting production demands and making profits (2012). This same issue of the ipad production explosion was also framed to present Foxconn as responsible for neglecting human rights in another article (Barboza, 2012b). When an article addressed a human rights issue, both Foxconn and Apple would be mentioned, but usually one company was framed as primarily responsible. Despite the individual emphasis in each article, overall it appears that both companies were equally targeted because each company was emphasized in four articles throughout the year. The relatively equal presentation of Apple and Foxconn as responsible for labour abuses in The Times is significantly different from the representation of U.S. versus Chinese actors in Guo et al. s (2012) analysis of the Foxconn suicides coverage. In their results, a sub-frame that defined Foxconn suicides as a China-specific sweatshop issue appeared in 73.9% of the articles, 34.8% of the articles suggested the cause of the abuses were due to Foxconn and other Chinese companies exploiting workers for profit, and a third sub-frame in 17.4% of the articles consisted of the argument that collective Chinese society was the cause of human rights abuses (Guo et al., 2012). Their findings resonated with existing framing research that suggests U.S. media framing about China is influenced by dominant anti-communist ideology (Guo et al., 2012). The results from this analysis do not align with the trend identified by Guo et al., because from this sample of articles, both Apple, a U.S. based company, and Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, were associated with human rights abuses. This shift may be a sign of success for activists who have been seeking to have Apple and other technology companies recognized for their role in sweatshop issues. This change may also be a consequence of more media attention being devoted to Apple following the release of new products, or a result of more attention being focused on the lack of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. in an effort to pressure companies to bring
49 41 these jobs back into the United States. All of these possibilities relate to the social context in which the articles were framed, which illustrates how significantly different issues can be framed depending on the social context. In the results from YouTube, Foxconn s responsibility was emphasized in four videos, but the sub-frame identifying Apple as primarily responsible was indiscernible. An example of the attention devoted to Foxconn was exhibited in the video Foxconn: Apple s hidden side #1 uploaded by Chaîne de UpsideTelevision (2012). This video is a short clip that continues in videos Foxconn: Apple s hidden side #2 and #3, which are linked at the end of each video. These videos feature footage of undercover filming inside a Foxconn factory with a voiceover explaining what was observed. In video #1, it is explained that their investigators applied to work at Foxconn to do the filming. The reporter explains that management is military in style, and insults are part of the work routine, as a Foxconn manager is shown yelling at a group of workers (Chaîne de UpsideTelevision, 2012). The video also highlights dangerous working conditions, unsafe housing, underage workers, student interns, the suicides, and describes Foxconn as an environment where the most vulnerable are lead to commit suicide (Chaîne de UpsideTelevision, 2012). If a viewer was inclined to watch the subsequent videos, #2 features the unfinished dormitories that pose a safety threat to workers. Video #3 reports from an inside source that there are approximately 15,000 interns working at Foxconn, and includes an interview with two 16-year-old students from a medical school on a three-month internship (Chaîne de UpsideTelevision, 2012). Considering results from the responsibility or power to create change frame, overall The Times more frequently framed Apple as predominantly responsible for making changes to resolve the labour issues, despite results from the human rights abuser frame suggesting that
50 42 Apple and Foxconn were equally represented as responsible for the issues. From the YouTube results, overall the videos predominantly suggested that Apple was responsible for driving changes, but Foxconn was primarily presented as responsible for the human rights issues. In both The Times and on YouTube, Foxconn was conveyed as contributing to the problem, but considered less responsible for resolving the issue, while Apple was largely framed as having responsibility to fix the problems. In a study researching media framing of U.S. poverty and audience perceptions in U.S. viewers, Nisbet found that the public tends to reach decisions on political issues by reducing them down to questions of responsibility and blame (2009, p. 63). Considering the framing of Apple and Foxconn, Apple was presented more frequently as having responsibility towards resolving the issues, and Foxconn often took the blame for creating the issues. The attitude of the media towards different organizations is important to consider because the presentation of each organization contributes to their reputation in the public eye. As Carroll (2011) explains, people who lack firsthand knowledge of an organization will rely on other sources, such as the news media, to form impressions, even if the data they receive is generalized. In a study of corporate reputations in the U.S., Carroll found that the amount of media attention a firm receives positively contributes to their public prominence, and favorable reports in the media about a firm positively relates to the firm s public esteem. Public esteem is important because without a base level of trust, admiration, and respect, individuals lack sufficient incentives to consider relationships with organizations, whether through employment, investing, product consumption, or social causes (Carroll, 2011, p. 224). Negative publicity also significantly harms how consumers perceive a company because negative information tends to be covered more prominently by the media, and it is usually
51 43 weighted more in the evaluation of people, objects and ideas (Dean, 2004). A company with a damaged reputation may experience a drop in sales and profits, and the impact can be worsened if the company does not respond adequately to the situation (Vanhamme & Grobben, 2009)../012)3,#4$;88$9#A"7(8(>:$A(,637+#-$)#-6(7-+08#$ In The New York Times, a sub-frame that emphasized the involvement of all technology manufacturers in human rights issues appeared once in the results. Many articles generally mentioned other companies that produce electronics through similar supply chains, but these references were usually short additions taking no more than a few lines within the article. Only one article focused on this issue; Disruptions: Too Much Silence on Working Conditions by Bilton (2012), highlights the lack of attention given to other technology manufacturers who have made little or no effort to improve working conditions in their supply chain. In the YouTube results, this sub-frame appeared in one video uploaded by The New York Times in correlation with the end of the ieconomy series of articles published throughout This video featured a tour of a Quanta factory that produces goods for Hewlett-Packard, and discussed the labour issues as a challenge for all electronic companies (The New York Times, 2012). The lack of articles and videos focusing on other companies emphasizes the high level of media attention devoted to Apple and Foxconn. The established connection between Apple and Foxconn may generate awareness for the issue because Apple is a highly recognizable brand, but this strong association also misrepresents the fact that Foxconn produces electronics for many large electronic companies, and Foxconn is not the only factory in China with these issues.
52 44./012)3,#4$B"+7#-#$>(C#)7,#79$)#-6(7-+08#$ This sub-frame only appeared in the YouTube results in one video. This sub-frame was found in the video uploaded by Motherboards.org (2012), featuring Phares explaining his views about the Chinese government s responsibility for the issues at Foxconn. In the video, he clearly associated the abuses at Foxconn as primarily the Chinese government s responsibility, rather than the responsibility of Apple. \6,5:&.'&'(!B.#*.#$:,!7.0&$+!D,5*.'5&=&+&:G! Reflective of the developments in 2012, this frame was created for this study because some journalists challenged the legitimacy of the Fair Labor Association and Apple s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. This frame appeared in 5 out of 20 New York Times articles (25%), and in 1 out of 10 YouTube videos (10%). Two sub-frames were detected: one questioned the credibility of the Fair Labor Association, and the other suggested that Apple and Foxconn s efforts to resolve labour issues were simply a public relations effort to clean up their public image. The distribution of sub-frames found in the results is illustrated in Figure 5. Media The NYT YouTube % 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of Articles / Videos Question Fair Labor Association (Define problems) Apple's efforts are insufficient (Define problems) Figure 5. Comparison of sub-frames within Questioning Corporate Social Responsibility frame.
53 45./012)3,#4$D/#-9+(7+7>$?3+)$E30()$;--(A+39+(7$ Three New York Times articles were identified with this sub-frame which functioned to define problems by discussing how the Fair Labor Association (FLA) may be an inadequate factory auditing organization. In Apple In Shift, Pushes An Audit Of Sites In China, journalists discuss the labour skepticism of FLA critics, and question whether the inspections would sharply curtail problems or merely help Apple deflect criticism (Duhigg & Wingfield, 2012, para. 6). Discussions about the FLA in The New York Times included many perspectives from numerous labour advocacy groups and scholars. This represents a change from Guo et al. s (2012) study, where it was found that activist voices were largely missing from the media reporting of the Foxconn suicides. Guo et al. s study contrasted with Greenberg and Knight s (2004) findings from the 1990s sweatshop coverage, where they found that activists were the most outstanding actors in media coverage. The change found in this present study may illustrate that media reporting in 2012 is more balanced in terms of including activist voices, but before this can be concluded, the representation of each group would need to be further analyzed. Guo et al., found that it was important to classify whether each social actor was cited for a point of view or for a fact because many of the Foxconn workers in their study were quoted for background information, rather than to articulate viewpoints. Neither the social actors, nor the depth of their inclusion in articles were quantitatively analyzed in this study, but based upon qualitative observations, perspectives from American labour activists were often used to construct arguments against the efforts of Apple and the Fair Labor Association. For example, in Early Praise In Inspection At Foxconn Brings Doubt by Steven Greenhouse (2012), directors of two U.S. based labour groups, Workers Rights Consortium and Verite, were consulted for
54 46 their perspectives on the Fair Labor Association s inspection announcements. Yet, while many American activist groups were consulted, the representation of activists from China was significantly lower. All of the articles that contained the questioning CSR frame consulted American labour groups or activists, and no Chinese perspectives were considered in these five articles. In other articles, Chinese activists were referenced for points of view, but overall the representation appears to be unequal with U.S. organizations being cited more often. The Times journalists may have chosen to consult more U.S. based labour activists because U.S. readers may recognize or relate to these U.S. groups, or U.S. based groups may be logistically easier for reporters to contact, but the omission of Chinese activists perspectives is problematic. Apple and Foxconn s labour issues are an international issue between both American and Chinese societies and economies, and only representing the discussion from the U.S. side makes The Times perspective one-sided and potentially biased towards U.S. interests../012)3,#4$;668#f-$#22()9-$3)#$+7-/22+a+#79$ Two articles from The Times contained a sub-frame that functioned to define problems by arguing Apple s efforts to improve transparency and accountability were insufficient. This subframe was also identified in a short video on YouTube uploaded by Slate News Channel (2012). The video recaps some of the main stories associated with Apple and Foxconn surrounding the event of Apple s CEO Timothy Cook visiting a Foxconn factory in China. They describe Apple as being on the PR offensive in response to negative publicity from The New York Times investigations, and stories about Mike Daisey s performance being retracted. Focusing on Timothy Cook s visit to a Foxconn factory, they argue there isn t much to Cook s visit beyond a few pre-approved photos the only great power that controls its media as tightly as China, is apparently Apple (Slate News Channel, 2012).
55 47 B3$'(&'(!R'E&#.'%,':! This frame was created to capture a perspective that emphasized how different actors and relationships are in a period of transition. This frame appeared in 4 of 20 articles from The New York Times (20%), and in 3 out of 10 videos (30%). Three sub-frames were identified according to which area the journalist emphasized change occurring, and all sub-frames functioned to diagnose causes of change. Figure 6 illustrates the range of sub-frames found in the analysis. Media The NYT YouTube % 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of Articles / Videos Chinese socio/economic environment is changing (Diagnose causes) Apple is changing (Diagnose causes) Apple and Foxconn are changing (Diagnose causes) Figure 6. Comparison of sub-frames within Changing Environment frame../012)3,#4$b"+7#-#$-(a+(g#a(7(,+a$#7c+)(7,#79$+-$a"37>+7>$ In The New York Times results, two articles emphasized how the Chinese social and economic environment was changing. This was presented as a cause for the labour shortages at Foxconn: social scientists say young people here are also less willing to accept factory jobs for long periods. Meanwhile, demographic changes have meant China has fewer young people to join the work force (Barboza & Duhigg, 2012, para. 18). By framing the issue within the larger evolving Chinese context, the complexity of the issue is highlighted, but this frame also deflects
56 48 some of the responsibility from Foxconn and Apple onto workers by suggesting it is a circumstantial, generational, and China-specific issue. This frame appeared in one video on YouTube; Foxconn riot exposes dark side of tech glitter, published by ReutersVideo (2012). This video highlights worker disputes at a Foxconn factory, and the volatility is explained though statements from industry commentators who suggest the game is changing in labour markets in China (Reuters, One article in The New York Times contained a sub-frame referring to changes at Apple, emphasizing how Apple s corporate environment is changing supply chain management. Another article emphasized both Foxconn and Apple causing changes in the industry. These two sub-frames follow up, and reinforce the Responsibility or Power to Create Change frame because they demonstrate how both Apple and Foxconn have influence in the industry. A sub-frame about Apple and Foxconn changing was found in two videos from YouTube. One video published by The New York Times was released in conjunction with an article in the ieconomy series and emphasized changes in the electronic industry. In this clip, reporter Keith Bradsher went to Chongqing and visited a factory called Quanta that produces electronics for Hewlett Packard, and then visited the Foxconn factory in Chengdu. At Quanta, interviews with staff highlight recent changes that have allowed workers more free time and more opportunities to visit family. Bradsher was denied access inside Foxconn, so he interviewed workers prescreened by Foxconn at an office outside the factory, and interviewed workers at local eateries where workers meet outside the factory. The Foxconn spokesperson described factory changes and explained how her old workstation stool had been replaced with a chair that has a backrest so she could relax when there is less work to do. Workers interviewed outside the Foxconn
57 49 premises presented a wider range of perspectives from expressing satisfaction to describing frustration with managers. Overall, Bradsher concludes; the picture that emerges is one of a company that is making some changes, particularly material changes, but the corporate culture has changed much less (The New York Times, 2012). He argues that while the conditions are not ideal, the conditions are better than they were ten years ago, a little better than they were last year, and they are still changing (The New York Times, 2012). A reoccurring sentiment emerged in both The New York Times articles and video published in December Both The Times journalists writing the final ieconomy series articles, and Bradsher visiting the factories to determine whether any changes had been made, and presented observations in a concluding tone. Positive changes were highlighted, and generalized concluding remarks were made to finish off the series, despite ongoing labour unrest that has continued into The impact of this framing is that readers and viewers may be lead to believe that the issues have been resolved, or that they are no longer a significant concern. The way these articles and videos were presented in 2012 may be a consequence of news reporting issue-attention cycles. This involves a cyclical process where the issues move through five stages: 1) pre-problem: where an undesirable social condition lacks attention, 2) alarmed discovery and enthusiasm: where the public becomes aware of the issue through dramatic events and some strive to immediately resolve the problem, 3) recognizing the cost: gradual realization that the problem requires money and large scale sacrifices, 4) gradual decline of intense interest: widespread acceptance of issue complexity results in disappointment and boredom with the issue, and 5) post-problem: the issue moves into limbo receiving sporadic interest and residual levels of interest are higher than they were at stage one (Holt and Barkemeyer, 2012). This cycle can be restarted with another large public event that sparks new interest in the issue. At the end of 2012,
58 50 The Times reporters may have been reaching the fourth stage in the issue, addressing a decline in interest after the issue has been featured prominently throughout the year, and perhaps attempted to summarize the situation with the conclusion of the ieconomy series to let the issue subside. ]'#,5:!&'!B3&'$! Riots and protests at Chinese factories were common in 2012 despite Apple s efforts to improve conditions. Journalists offered reasoning for these outbursts in 4 of 20 New York Times articles (20%) and this frame appeared in one YouTube video (10%). The appearance of subframes in the analysis is illustrated in Figure 7. Media The NYT 3 1 YouTube 1 0 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of Articles / Videos Chinese workers aware of rights (Diagnose causes) Chinese economy (Diagnose causes) Figure 7. Comparison of sub-frames within Unrest in China frame../012)3,#4$b"+7#-#$&()*#)-$3&3)#$(2$)+>"9-$ Three of The New York Times articles reflected a diagnose causes sub-frame that suggested workers becoming more educated about labour laws had resulted in growing unrest. This sub-frame also appeared in one video from Reuters (2012) that includes comments from a reporter, and statements from several industry and organizational commentators. The video clip focused on the riots at a Foxconn factory in September framing the issue within a larger social
59 51 shift: previously migrant workers moved around China for very low wages, but as China modernizes, employees are becoming more aware of their worth (Reuters, 2012). In the video, Martin Hennecke, associate director of Tyche Group, an investment advising company, argues that the problems have occurred at Foxconn because given the number of people they employ of the migrant workers, uh, I would say some things is bound to happen (Reuters, 2012). A reporter concludes the video report explaining, the fresh incident shows that volatility lurks at the heart of the massive global tech supply chain (Reuters, 2012). This sub-frame recognizes some of the agency of the workers, but by describing workers generally as a whole generation contributing to market volatility, the worker s resistance is framed primarily as disruptive problem../012)3,#4$b"+7#-#$#a(7(,:$ This sub-frame is similar to the Chinese socio/economic environment is changing subframe from the changing environment frame. In that case, the sub-frame drew attention to the broad societal and economic shifts occurring in China, contributing to the larger overall period of change. This frame is distinct because it diagnoses the Chinese economy as a cause for the factory riots and volatility in the labour market. One article from The Times emphasized the economy and recognized the role that inflation would have on worker protests: there has been a rash of strikes and labor protests across the country in recent months, partly in response to inflation and a greater awareness of the labor laws (Barboza, 2012a, para. 9). B.'56%*:&.'!E,#565!Z#.-60:&.'! This frame originates from Greenberg and Knight s (2004) observation that newspaper coverage from 1990 to 2000 reflected a neoliberal discourse that focused on the relationship between producers and consumers, rather than a political discourse. Guo et al. (2012) adopted
60 52 this frame in their analysis and found that while this frame had dominated U.S. media coverage in Greenberg and Knight s study, only 13.0% of The New York Times articles in their sample considered the Foxconn suicides as a problem of U.S. consumer accountability. In Guo et al. s results, the global neoliberalism rationale behind the global sweatshop phenomenon was neglected and the TNCs responsibility was invisible. Instead, China became the only culprit in the global issue (Guo et al., 2012, p. 498). Results from this present analysis are consistent with Guo et al. s findings as only 3 out of 20 of The New York Times articles (15%), reflected the consumption versus production frame. The YouTube results presents a different trend as this frame appeared in 5 out of 10 videos (50%). The results from the analysis are presented in Figure 8. Media The NYT YouTube % 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Percentage of Articles / Videos Impactful consumer awareness (Diagnose causes) Customers not concerned (Define problems) People should be aware (Suggest remedy) Figure 8. Comparison of sub-frames within Consumption versus Production frame../012)3,#4$i,63a92/8$a(7-/,#)$3&3)#7#--$ Two New York Times articles contained this sub-frame, which functioned to diagnose the cause of increased attention toward Foxconn issues as a product of increased consumer awareness. For example, in an article by Porter (2012), this sub-frame was illustrated by drawing
61 53 a connection between iphones in China and protestors in the United States. The article included an image of activists holding signs outside of a shareholder meeting at Apple s headquarters in Cupertino, California (see Figure 9). Figure 9. Activists hold signs outside Apple headquarters in California (Porter, 2012)../012)3,#4$B/-9(,#)-$7(9$A(7A#)7#=$ This sub-frame was identified in one article in The New York Times, and functioned to define the Foxconn and Apple issue in the context of consumers not expressing enough concern regarding these issues. On YouTube, this frame was also found in one video. Your IPhone is made in a Sweatshop in China!!! is an amateur commentary with a photo slideshow and voiceover discussing reports of inhumane working conditions at Foxconn from New York Times articles (R. E. Heubel, 2012). Near the end of the video, the person emphasizes a connection between consumers and workers in China: when you pick up your Apple phone you can think of, you know, these people working sixteen-hour days, uh..., seven days a week and then falling over (R. E. Heubel, 2012). At the end of the video the commentator promotes boycotting Apple products as a solution to resolving issues at Foxconn.
62 54./012)3,#4$J#(68#$-"(/8=$0#$3&3)#$ This sub-frame functioned to suggest remedies for the issues by proposing that people should be more aware of the Apple and Foxconn labour issues. This sub-frame was found in four of the YouTube videos. Next Media Animation, a Taiwanese animation group that publishes satirical animated videos as a social commentary on global issues, created one of the most dramatic videos in this sub-frame. Their videos are released in both Mandarin and English on separate YouTube channels. In Foxconn riot cause shutdown of a factory in Northern China, the animators contrast the concerns of American consumers waiting for the iphone 5 with riots of protesting workers at the Foxconn factories. Scenes in this video include a worker jumping out of a building to be caught by a ghostly Steve Jobs standing on a suicide net, and scenes of obese Americans biting into apples in an Apple store, see Figure 10 (Next Media Animation, 2012). A voiceover comments on the issues dramatized in each scene. Statements from the English version; how many people have to die for me to get my iphone 5?! and the riots leave many Americans more concerned about the iphone 5 production schedule emphasize the divide between consumers interest, and the situation surrounding the production of Apple products. Figure 10. Scenes from Next Media Animation video (Next Media Animation, 2012).
63 55 This video draws attention to the many diverse international groups involved in this issue. Next Media Animation is a Taiwanese animation group, Foxconn is a Taiwanese company operating in China, Apple is a U.S. company, and the video primarily critiques U.S. customers not caring about workers in China. This unique representation and interpretation of the issue was exclusive to the YouTube medium. In contrast to The New York Times coverage presenting issues from a primarily U.S. perspective, YouTube offers viewers an opportunity to view videos from around the world. Q$=.6#!E,#565!B$*&:$+! This frame originates from Greenberg and Knight s (2004) observation that there was little discussion about the issue of global profit-seeking corporations seeking to exploit cheap labour. Greenberg and Knight suggest that the conflict between capital and labour could have been covered in the news coverage to consider a global political perspective. Guo et al. (2012) considered the possibility of this frame occurring in their research, but found the frame indiscernible. In this analysis, the labour versus capital frame was not divided into sub-frames because the frame was sufficiently recognizable. In The New York Times results, the frame is not prominent, but appeared twice in among other arguments. In Dividends In Pressing Apple Over Labor, Porter (2012) explains the opposition of students and labour unions to workers wages contributing a mere $10 to the cost of a contract-free $549 iphone 4 (2012, para. 4). This is a brief consideration of Apple s profits in contrast to the wages Foxconn workers receive. He goes on to contrast this argument with a pro-sweatshop stance, which suggests that exploitation through globalization is better than the alternative of receiving no foreign investment, using China as an example of globalization s benefits [...] driving spectacular economic growth (2012, para. 8). By making this comparison,
64 56 Porter also uses the consumption versus production frame, which Greenberg and Knight (2004) and Guo et al. (2012) found to be prominent and in ideological contrast to the labour versus capital frame. The labour versus capital frame was not discernable in the sample of YouTube videos considered in this study. Greenberg and Knight (2004) argued that there was a lack of political discourse in newspapers regarding sweatshops, and Guo et al. (2012) did not find this frame in their newspaper analysis. Considering that this frame did not appear in the YouTube results, and it was only briefly considered in two of The New York Time articles, it seems this trend continued in 2012 with little discussion of the global political and economic connections between workers and corporations. F.:!$!79,$:53.*! This frame was drawn from the Guo et al. article where it appeared in 21.7% of The Times articles, and more prominently in the Chinese newspapers, to suggest that Foxconn was not a sweatshop (2012). In their analysis, this frame was associated with an individual context where some reporters attributed the cause of the suicides to the psychological vulnerability among the Chinese younger generation, and Foxconn was blamed for its ignorance of staffers mental health (Guo et al., 2012, p. 494). This frame suggested that Foxconn was not liable for creating sweatshop conditions, rather only liable for failing to provide mental health facilities for troubled workers. The not a sweatshop frame was not discernable in The New York Times articles because none of the articles addressed the idea of Foxconn being a sweatshop, and the word sweatshop was scarcely used. This sub-frame appeared in 3 out of 10 YouTube videos (30%), and three sub-frames were identified. Two sub-frames that functioned to define problems were identified: one explicitly stating that Foxconn is not a sweatshop, and one implicitly
65 57 suggesting that Foxconn is not a sweatshop. One sub-frame functioned to diagnose causes and suggested that the labour issues were not related to sweatshop practices, but rather a psychological issue of China s younger workforce. All appearances of this frame were found in videos with content from ABC The implicit reference came from an ABC Good Morning America segment in February 2012 promoting ABC s exclusive report on Foxconn and Apple. A short segment from the first installment in the investigation is shown, featuring reporter Bill Weir in China at the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, touring the factory with members of the Fair Labor Association before the audit. After the clip is shown, Weir discusses some of his impressions with the morning show host: By our standards it is really soul crushing work, but we also visited some villages where a lot of these people come from and they say their lives are better because of the factories. The alternatives are so much worse. There are still a lot of sweatshops there. (Dancehall Vid, 2012) Weir suggests that working at Foxconn is better than working in a sweatshop, but he does not elaborate on what he considers to be a sweatshop, or how Foxconn is better than a sweatshop. He leaves viewers with the vague impression that Foxconn is simply better than the alternative, whatever that may In another ABC News segment from March 2012, after the factory inspection by the Fair Labor Association, Weir interviews Auret van Heerden, President and CEO of the FLA: Weir: As Americans understand the term, would you define Foxconn as a sweatshop?
66 58 van Heerden: No- it s a very modern facility. Weir: Did you find any evidence of child labour? van Heerden: We did not. Weir: None... van Heerden: No child labour, no forced labour. Weir: So what are the most egregious violations being made there? van Heerden: Overtime. (ABC News, 2012). In this interview, van Heerden blatantly states that Foxconn is not a sweatshop with the justification that Foxconn is a modern facility. This is reinforced by Weir as he presses van Heerden to reveal the most egregious violations, with each answer sounding trivial after the dramatic interview staging and buildup. This interview is followed by video clips showing lineups outside Apple stores, and footage of Chinese workers on assembly lines with Weir explaining that workers work sixty hours a week to meet the insatiable demand for Apple products. Sixty hours is the maximum Apple allows for their suppliers, but it is above the maximum allowed in China (ABC News, 2012). More clips from the interview follow with Weir asking how forced overtime happens, and van Heerden deflects the question saying that it is a question of whether workers can do overtime voluntarily without repercussions. Weir then asks further questions about whether their pay is fair, and van Heerden explains that they make 20% over the Chinese legal minimum wage, and that most employees believe that it is fair, although many explained the current pay is not enough to meet their basic needs (ABC News, 2012). Van Heerden carefully presented his responses so that the issues were all justified and normalized. A viewer living outside of China might be lead to believe the circumstances are acceptable and normal in China, rather than recognizing the problems. This exchange is followed by clips
67 59 highlighting Foxconn s statement to commit to changes and Apple s support for the reforms. The tone of the ABC News report suggests that Foxconn s practices are acceptable within the industry, and the issues are downplayed to suggest there are no serious human rights violations../012)3,#4$j-:a"(8(>+a38$6)(08#,$(2$:(/7>#)$b"+7#-#$>#7#)39+(7$ The third sub-frame diagnoses the cause of the Foxconn suicides as primarily a psychological problem relating to China s younger generation of workers, rather than a human rights issue. This frame came from another ABC News clip from the factory tour where Weir spoke to counselors hired by Foxconn to explain the presence of the suicide nets. A lot of the imagery in the ABC News reports focuses on the suicide nets suspended from the buildings (see Figure 11). While the nets add dramatic visuals to the investigation, the discussion of their installation and significance is not deeply explored. Weir explains that the nets generated publicity, and in the interview with Foxconn counselors, it is explained that the suicides have more to do with the new generations of migrant workers than issues with management (AsianSpecialist, 2012). While the nets are visually emphasized, the issue of the suicide is glossed over, and the problem of Foxconn s superficial response to the problem is not investigated. This sub-frame was also found in the Guo et al. (2012) study, appearing in 21.7% of articles from The Times. Younger generations in China born after 1980 and the introduction of China s one-child policy, are often characterized as spoiled kids who cannot deal with workplace or social pressures (Guo et al., 2012). Guo et al. found that the young migrant workers living and working at Foxconn received many of the same criticisms in the media. As shown in the ABC News clip, this sentiment is still expressed in media coverage referring to the Foxconn suicides in 2012.
68 60 Figure 11. Prominent footage of suicide nets in ABC News ifactory report (ABC News, 2012).!
69 61 4&50655&.'! 76%%$#G!.8!"&'-&'(5! One of the most noticeable findings from the framing analysis is that two frames, responsibility or power to create change, and human rights abuser, were most prominent in both The New York Times and YouTube results. The Times articles and YouTube videos both largely justified Apple as primarily responsible for making changes to correct the labour issues at Foxconn. With respect to the human rights abuser frame, The Times presented both Foxconn and Apple as responsible, but YouTube videos primarily identified Foxconn as responsible for the human rights issues. The third most prominent frame for The Times articles was questioning corporate social responsibility, and the third most prominent frame for the YouTube videos was consumption versus production. This difference reflects how there was more coverage of Apple s public relations efforts with the Fair Labor Association in The Times, and the YouTube videos more strongly emphasized the need to connect consumers with an understanding of the conditions in which electronics are made. The changing environment frame appeared frequently in both The Times and YouTube analysis, and both media highlighted the trend of changes occurring within Apple s corporate system, Foxconn s factory procedures, and within both Chinese and American society. Articles from both The New York Times and YouTube results contained the unrest in China frame, and both emphasized that young workers in China were becoming more aware of their rights. The labour versus capital frame was only identified briefly in The Times results. The labour versus capital frame reflects a more abstract concept of the issue by contrasting corporations and workers within the global economy. The fact that this idea was not deeply
70 62 explored in either media demonstrates that this global economic view of sweatshop issues is not popular in the traditional or new media environment in The not a sweatshop frame was only found within YouTube in ABC News videos. This suggests that while YouTube offers a diverse range of videos with independent and amateur video publishers, it is also heavily influenced by traditional media voices. Four frames were traced through the articles by Greenberg and Knight (2004) and Guo et al. (2012) and compared with the findings from this study. The issues and social circumstances in each study are different, and different researchers conducted each analysis, but linking the framing results based on comparable frames provides a general idea of how news reporting has shifted for these four frames within three different contexts. Table 5 presents this comparison to highlight findings from the 1990s, 2010, and Table 5 Appearance of Frames Across Three Analyses Frame Consumption vs. Production Labour vs. Capital Human Rights Abuser Not a Sweatshop Greenberg & Knight (2004): Newspapers 1995 to 2000 Most prominent frame Frame not found but recommended Guo et al. (2012): The NYT 2009 to 2010 This analysis from 2012: The NTY YouTube! 13%! 15% 50%! Indiscernible! 10% Indiscernible -! 80%! 45% 60% -! 22%! Indiscernible 30% Unlike Greenberg and Knight s (2004) finding that the consumption versus production frame was prominent in newspaper coverage, Guo et al. s (2012) findings from The Times, and the results from The Times in 2012 suggest that in more recent New York Times coverage, the
71 63 consumption versus production frame has declined in prominence. In contrast, this frame appeared in 50% of the 2012 YouTube videos, perhaps representing a perspective difference between traditional and new media channels with more diverse information sources on YouTube. The human rights abuser frame was most prominent in Guo et al. s (2012) study, and was also found prominently in the 2012 New York Times and YouTube results. In both time frames, the media was working to evaluate the Foxconn suicides, dangerous conditions, and riots to consider which social actors were responsible for the problems. The not a sweatshop frame did not appear in The Times results, but it was identified in three YouTube videos, challenging the idea that YouTube is a more diverse and democratic environment for information. There are numerous reasons why the framing of issues evolves and it depends on the social circumstances in each case study. For example, it is rational that the consumption versus production frame was prominent in Greenberg and Knight s (2004) study because the antisweatshop movement was very active at that time working to reconnect consumers with the social context of where their products were manufactured. Guo et al. s (2012) study focused on the suicide issues at Foxconn, and they found The Times strongly aimed to separate the issue from the U.S. by framing the issue as a primarily China-specific problem. In the study of articles from 2012, it seems that The Times put more emphasis on framing the issue to be relevant to a U.S. context by focusing on Apple s role. These differences can be linked to the 2012 social context because there was a lot of discussion regarding the American economy and importance of creating jobs in the U.S. The YouTube 2012 results reflect traditional media perspectives, but also present ideas from international individuals and groups, providing a more diverse perspective that is not found in The Times.
72 64 D,5,$#03!Q&%&:$:&.'5! The validity of this study is primarily limited by the fact that the framing analysis was only performed by one person, so no indication of the reliability of the study is available. This is important to consider because it is possible for personal biases to influence the results of the analysis. The results of the framing analysis could also be questioned as Nisbet (2009) argues that scholars have a tendency to rework theories to identify and label frames in debates, which can lead to inconsistency in understanding and measuring differences in media trends. While this is a valid concern, an effort to counter this bias was made with a willingness to incorporate findings from previous studies, and create new frames to reflect the evolving news perspectives. Comparisons can be made to other framing studies because this analysis builds upon and expands previous research by drawing from a more recent sample of sweatshops issues in The New York Times, and exploring YouTube videos. This research did not consider individual frames held by readers and viewers, which may cause an individual to understand a text differently. The frames analyzed in this study describe the dominant meaning I derived as a reader from the text. Entman describes the notion of dominant meaning as consisting of the problem, causal, evaluative, and treatment interpretations with the highest probability of being noticed, processed, and accepted by the most people (1993, p.56). It is possible that other readers will interpret different meanings from text that are not considered in this analysis. )**+,!9&:3&'!:3,!;556,N)::,':&.'!BG0+,! In many of The New York Times articles, it was argued that Apple was having a Nike moment because Apple had become the scapegoat for labour issues within the electronic manufacturing industry, just as Nike had become the target for the sportswear industry in the
73 s. This pattern of focusing on one organization, or one industry, has been a repetitive component of sweatshop debates. Sweated labour was first associated with the tailoring industry before becoming associated with factory work on a larger scale. Similarly, in the 1990s campaign, sportswear, clothes and toys were initially targeted, before concern spread to other industries. Again in the present discussion of technological sweatshops, only certain vilified organizations are taking responsibility for labour practices that occur across many industries. This trend of associating issues with particular industries and companies is likely part of a larger media coverage cycle. In their study of 1990s sweatshops, Greenberg and Knight (2004) found that news coverage tended to concentrate on the implications of globalization for consumers in the West during the 1990s, but after 2000, the sweatshop issues became less visible in media inquiries despite on-going rights abuses and labour code violations. They suggest that this decline may be a downturn in the issue-attention cycle where the media spotlight shifts to new concerns at the expense of other issues. Or it may be a result of the evolution of new coverage, from general activism coverage to the development of institutionalized forms of reform, which would make the issue less newsworthy. In this analysis, several newspaper articles noted connections between the anti-sweatshop movement of the 1990s and the resurgence of attention to supply chain issues, in this case, associated with Apple. This pattern is comparable to the recovery phase of the media issue-attention cycle as previously explored themes become recognizable again. Interest in sweatshops grows and wanes in response to dramatic events that draw attention to the social issue in one industry or company. The association of Apple with supply chain issues was initiated in 2006 with the investigation of the Foxconn factory by the Mail on Sunday (Frost & Burnett, 2007), and Apple was brought under intense scrutiny again in 2010 and 2011 with awareness of the Foxconn suicides (China Labor Watch, 2012).
74 66 The association of Apple with labour issues may be positive for activists hoping to raise awareness because it exposes a new audience to the issues. The exposure of Apple s supply chain labour issues may have come as a surprise to some consumers because Apple products often appear to be machine made with their smooth and polished uniform appearance. Apple s corporate culture also values industry leadership and responsibility. Keith Bradsher and Charles Duhigg (2012) in The New York Times Signs of Change Taking Hold in Electronic Factories in China, argue that this concept of strong public leadership tends to run counter to the culture of secrecy that Apple prides themselves on to stay ahead of competitors. This unveiling of Apple s supply chain creates a powerful opportunity for journalists because Apple s prominence with consumers is strong, and negative news could create sensational stories. It might also be possible that Apple has been largely associated with labour issues because journalists have been looking for alternative news to undercut stories about Apple s successful product releases to achieve the illusion of false balance, conventionally considered a tool for objectivity or independence (Nisbet, 2009). Looking forward, it is possible that the association of this issue with Apple will keep labour issues in the media because Apple maintains a presence in the news media with the regular release of new products. It is also possible that the issue will decline from public interest if Apple s popularity declines, or if the particular Foxconn issues associated with Apple are resolved. Ideally, to keep this issue relevant and representative of the issues, there should be more emphasis on recognizing that this is a widespread issue across the entire electronic manufacturing industry. It is also possible that readers have become somewhat desensitized to sweatshop issues. After hearing about the human rights issues with Nike in the mid 2000s, perhaps hearing that these issues persist is disappointing, but not shocking. People may be alarmed to know that their
75 67 favourite Apple device was made in a sweatshop, but the popular attachment to technology is likely not to lead to an Apple boycott, whereas it may have been easier to avoid a clothing or shoe manufacturer. People must also confront the cognitive dissonance that arises from recognizing that most of their technology is assembled by hand in a factory environment that exhibits sweatshop attributes. Furthermore, confronting this issue may eventually involve recognizing this issue is not confined to Apple products and affects most electronic devices. This recognition imposes a significant moral dilemma that may bring up questions and consumer responsibility that some consumers may prefer to avoid because the issue is complex and on a global scale !"./0.''!=,!Q$=,+,-!$5!$!79,$:53.*W! Many of the same abuses associated with working conditions at Nike s suppliers in the 1990s have been exposed at Apple s supplier Foxconn. Since 2006, reports have revealed inadequate living conditions, low pay, overtime hours, and harmful environments at the Foxconn factories, but within the 2012 New York Times results, Foxconn has not been verbally labeled as a sweatshop as Nike s supply chain factories were. Within the YouTube analysis, several independent and amateur video producers described Foxconn as a sweatshop, but the videos by traditional media groups did not describe Foxconn as a sweatshop. There is no universal, or international definition for a sweatshop. Most resources cite the U.S. Department of Labor definition from 1994: we define a sweatshop as an employer that violates more than one federal or state labor law governing minimum wage and overtime, child labor, industrial homework, occupational safety and health, workers compensation, or industry registration (United States General Accounting Office, 1994, p. 1). From definitions offered on non-profit websites, it is often added that labour groups advocate the need for living wages, safe
76 68 working conditions, reasonable work hours, paid sick leave and maternity leave, and freedom to organize and form unions (GreenAmerica, 2012). Considering the general accepted definitions for sweatshops, Foxconn s history of safety hazards, underage and intern labour, overtime, and low wages suggests that Foxconn could be described as a sweatshop. The New York-based independent NGO, China Labor Watch, conducted an investigation of 10 electronic factories located in the Guangdong and Jiangsu Provinces with their staff conducting on and off-site investigations, and posing as workers to gain access to some factories. Foxconn factories were included in their investigations, and they found that many factories in the electronic industry actually exhibit hidden sweatshop attributes (2012, p. 11). Electronic factories often appear organized and clean, and do not display the traditional imagery of a crowded, hazy workplace that is often associated with sweatshops. China Labor Watch (2012) explains that the electronic industry exhibits sweatshop attributes such as excessive overtime hours, extra peak season demands, enforced voluntary overtime, extremely high levels of work intensity, subtle discrimination in hiring young and healthy candidates, punishment for small mistakes and verbal harassment, and creating official resignation difficult so workers must voluntarily resign and forfeit some final wages. If hidden sweatshop attributes are not articulated to the public, some of these issues may be downplayed because the clean visual and verbal imagery provided by the media conflicts with the traditional concept of a sweatshop. In The New York Times articles examined for this analysis, journalists did not describe Foxconn using the word sweatshop. In the process of researching for articles and videos, the keyword sweatshop did not return many relevant results in either The Times or YouTube searches. In The Times search, the sweatshop keyword largely contributed to the number of irrelevant and related articles that appeared in the results. In The Times articles
77 69 that discussed labour issues at Foxconn, more circumstantial words like riot, labour issues, unrest, were used to describe the situation as opposed to the sweatshop label which carries a lot of social baggage from the exposure of Nike, Katie Lee Gifford, and the college driven anti-sweatshop movement. Even in one of the most dramatic articles released by The Times covering the ipad manufacturing explosion caused by aluminum dust that killed two workers, The Times did not use the word sweatshop. From the YouTube results, only amateur and independent videos used the word sweatshop in the title or commentary. Videos published by traditional news groups did not describe Foxconn as a sweatshop. In the ABC News segment, journalist Bill Weir reported on his impressions of the Foxconn factory, explaining his surprise at how young the workers were and how most components are made by hand, but it didn t match up with some of the horror stories he had heard (AsianSpecialist, 2012). He normalizes the issues saying they heard the kinds of complaints you d hear at any factory, or college campus (AsianSpecialist, 2012), and a similar comparison to college campuses, and normalizing issues occurred in The New York Times video. The visuals of a clean and orderly facility with descriptive cues from journalists contribute to the conclusion that Foxconn is not a sweatshop because hidden sweatshop attributes were downplayed, justified or overlooked. Within YouTube, some of this framing is countered by other videos that openly suggest Foxconn practices resemble sweatshop conditions. Amateur videos and creative satirical videos like the Next Media Animation video effectively contrast the traditional media s avoidance of the sweatshop term, but traditional media is also prominent within YouTube. In Burgess and Green s YouTube study, they found approximately two-thirds of the videos in their sample were uploaded by individual users, but half of the content in their sample was traditional media content and half was user-created content (2009, p. 92). This is
78 70 comparable to how users Dancehall Vid and AsianSpecialist uploaded content from ABC News. Although there are many individuals and independent groups publishing content within YouTube, a lot of traditional media content is uploaded by individuals, or used within individual videos, such as R. E. Heubel s video which cited many details from The Times articles. The media s role in framing electronic factories, both verbal and visual, can strongly influence perceptions of these factories. Greenberg and Knight (2004) found in their analysis of the 1990s media coverage, that the use of the word sweatshop emerged as a contentious feature of global business practice by way of a process of competitive claims-making between corporate interests, particularly Nike, and their critics (media and movement) in the public sphere (2004, p.161). Additionally, the corporate actors, such as Nike, did not refute sweatshop allegations per se, but instead rationalized the manufacturing practices to suggest that weak labour conditions are a necessary short-term step in a long-term process of economic prosperity (Greenberg & Knight, 2004, p. 161). Unlike Nike s approach to the sweatshop label in the 1990s, it appears Apple has worked to refute the association of the term sweatshop with Foxconn. It may be worthwhile for activist groups, such as China Labor Watch, to continue to work towards reconnecting electronic factories with the word sweatshop. The negative association attached to the word may help people recognize that the labour issues at Foxconn, and other electronic factories, need to be addressed. Perhaps this would rouse a similar large-scale public effort to demand changes within the industry, similar to the anti-sweatshop movement in the 1990s.
79 71 B.#*.#$:,!Z6=+&0!D,+$:&.'5!&'!:3,!S,-&$! Apple has carefully managed their reputation in dealing with the labour issues that have been associated with their supply chain practices. The avoidance of labeling Foxconn as a sweatshop among traditional media groups may be due to corporate pressure aiming to manage Apple s reputation within the media. Dyck and Zingales (2008) argue that it is the media s role in promoting corporate responsibility to act as a watchdog and convince politicians, corporate affiliates and the public to introduce reforms by publishing shaming articles. The intersection between public relations efforts and the media raises questions about how fairly the issues are presented. Corporate public relations play a strong role because they can manage the social context so that issues are presented in ways that only certain solutions are considered as options (Gandy, 1992). In this way, public relations shapes public policy and public support for policy. Gandy, writing in 1992 was commenting on the 1990s anti-sweatshop movement. This can be seen again in the current corporate efforts managing how the Foxconn labour issues are presented. DeLuca and Peeples suggest that promotionalism has become a central characteristic of contemporary communication as both powerful and marginalized groups compete for public attention by managing their refined images. This is relatable to the reputation and role of Apple, Foxconn, and activist groups presenting their images and messages in the media. Which viewpoints get through to viewers depends largely on the media framing, and the global reception and response to the issue will ultimately impact whether the company is forced to respond, and how they respond.!
80 72 ;%*$0:!.8!S,-&$!"#$%&'(! Reflecting Rock s (2003) findings that companies stock prices fell in response to public disclosure of sweatshop practices, and rose in response to positive changes, Apple and Foxconn s stock prices may also have been influenced by negative publicity and PR efforts. Using a Bloomberg terminal, the stock prices for Apple Inc and Hon Hai were retrieved from January 2, 2012 to December 31, 2012, and graphed in USD. Apple s stock price graph is illustrated in blue, and Hon Hai, Foxconn s parent company, is graphed in red (see Figure 12). This image was captured from the Bloomberg terminal, and cropped to show the main graph. - Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - June - July Figure 12. Apple and Hon Hai Stock Fluctuations in The blue line represents the Apple stock price. The red line represents the Hon Hai stock price. Graph retrieved from Bloomberg L.P. (2013). It is noticeable that both stock prices follow similar peaks and troughs. This is understandable because both companies are in the electronics industry, and Foxconn is one of Apple s biggest suppliers so the companies are closely related financially. Some of the main points on the graph will be compared to events in news coverage and events in 2012 to consider - Aug - Sept - Oct - Nov - Dec