[译文]纽约美甲工的悲惨故事

The New York Times’ Nail Salons Series Was Filled with Misquotes and Factual Errors. Here’s Why That Matters. (Part 1)
《纽约时报》美甲沙龙系列文章充满征引错误和事实错误。我们来看看这事为什么要紧。(第一弹)

作者:Jim Epstein @ 2015-10-27
译者:沈沉(你在何地-sxy)
校对:Tankman
来源:Reason ,https://reason.com/blog/2015/10/27/new-york-times-nail-salon-unvarnished

Reporter Sarah Maslin Nir’s investigative series violated the standards of responsible journalism.
记者Sarah Maslin Nir的系列调查报道违反了负责任新闻报道的规范。

A two-part series in The New York Times on nail salons has brought sweeping changes to an industry dominated by Korean and Chinese immigrants. Written by reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, the series, which ran in print on May 10 and 11, focused on the plight of nail salon manicurists in New York City and Long Island. It depicted a community of immigrant workers paid shockingly low wages to beautify the fingers and toes of affluent New Yorkers while inhaling toxic fumes that cause miscarriages and cancer.

《纽约时报》关于美甲沙龙的前后两篇报道给这个由韩国移民和中国移民主导的产业带来了深远影响。这一系列报道由记者Sarah Maslin Nir撰写,发表于5月10日和11日,集中讲述了纽约市和长岛美甲沙龙里美甲师的窘困境况。在它所描绘的画面里,一群移民工人为了点极度微薄的工资,呼吸着能够导致流产和癌症的有毒气体,为纽约的富人们修饰手指和脚趾。

Nir, who spent 13 months on the project, said in an interview that she initially pitched the story as an “expose,” adding that the “great lesson” readers should come away with is that there’s “no such thing as a cheap luxury.” The only way “you can have something decadent for a cheap price is by someone being exploited.” (My Reason colleague, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, wrote a critique of Nir’s series shortly after it was published.)

Nir在这篇报道上耗费了13个月时间。在接受采访时她说,最初设计这个故事就是为了“曝光”。她还补充说,读者应从该报道中得到一个“重大教训”:世上并不存在“所谓的廉价奢华”。“廉价的放纵奢靡”只能用一个办法得到,那就是“某人遭到剥削”。(我在Reason的同事Elizabeth Nolan Brown在Nir的系列见报不久就写了一篇批评文章。)

The “great lesson” here is actually something different. I’ve spent the last several weeks re-reporting aspects of Nir’s story and interviewing her sources. Not only did Nir’s coverage broadly mischaracterize the nail salon industry, several of the men and women she spoke with say she misquoted or misrepresented them. In some cases, she interviewed sources without translators despite their poor English skills. When her sources’ testimonies ran counter to her narrative, she omitted them altogether.

但事实上,这里应被视为“重大教训”的,是另外一件事。过去几周,我都在重新报道Nir的故事的方方面面,并重新采访其信源。Nir的报道不仅明显扭曲了美甲沙龙产业,而且,曾与之交谈的几位男女还说她错误引用了他们的话或对他们描绘有误。有时候,尽管信源的英语水平很低,她在采访时也没有带翻译。如果信源的说法与她的故事有所抵触,她就会彻底无视这类说法。

The second article lent the Times’ imprimatur to unproven theories, while committing science journalism’s cardinal sin of highlighting alarmist anecdotes that aren’t representative of systematic research.

系列文章中的第二篇则让《时报》为未经验证的理论提供了官方认可,该文犯下了科学新闻的核心重罪:突出强调危言耸听者所提供的那些不能代表系统研究的小道消息。

If it hadn’t had real-world consequences, the series—and subsequent attempt by Nir and her editors to parry criticism—wouldn’t be worth such intense scrutiny. But the day after the first article appeared in the print edition of the Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced a new multi-agency task force to inspect nail salons. In August, Cuomo issued an emergency order mandating that salons purchase a new form of insurance called a “wage bond” so that if owners are discovered paying their employees less than the legally required wage, the workers have recourse to collect.

两篇文章及随后Nir及其编辑为了回避批评所做出的种种努力本不值得用心细细考察,但是它们对真实世界的影响实在太大了。首篇文章在《时报》印刷版登出来的第二天,Andrew Guomo州长(民主党-纽约州)就宣布成立一个新的多部门联合特别小组,负责调查美甲沙龙。8月,Guomo签发了一条紧急命令,责令各沙龙购买一种叫做“工资保证金”的保险,一旦店主支付雇员的工资低于法定要求,工人们就有办法收账。

The rush to legislate based solely on the Times’ shoddy reporting has hurt the industry. New nail salons, “which used to open every week in New York,” have stopped appearing, according to Aiming Feng, an accountant and leading business advisor to nail shops.

这种仅仅基于《时报》劣质报道就做出的匆忙立法已经对这一行业造成伤害。据身为会计师和顶尖的美甲业商业顾问Aiming Feng所说,新的美甲沙龙已经停止开业,“此前纽约可是每周都会有新店开张”。

Salons once provided a steady source of jobs for undocumented immigrants; now many owners say they’ll hire only legal workers who’ve completed an occupational licensing program because they’re afraid of getting in trouble.

美甲沙龙曾为非法移民提供了一个稳定的工作来源。但是,许多店主说,他们以后只会雇佣完成了执业执照课程的合法工人,因为他们担心惹麻烦。

In September, two industry groups filed a discrimination lawsuit over the wage-bond mandate in New York State Supreme Court on the grounds that the state has unfairly singled out an Asian-dominated industry.

9月,有两个行业团体就工资保险令向纽约州最高法院提起歧视诉讼,理由是州政府此举单独针对由亚裔主导的行业,很不公平。

Another group has organized multiple protests, including a demonstration on October 6 in front of The New York Times Company’s offices in midtown Manhattan. “Apology Now, Fire Nir!” was printed on one sign at the protest; “Shame On You New York Times, Your Lies Kill Our Shops,” read another. Another protest is scheduled at 11a.m. today in front of the Times building.

另有一个团体则已经组织了多次抗议,包括10月6日在纽约时报公司位于曼哈顿中城的办公室外面所举行的示威。抗议活动中打出的一个标语上写着“立刻道歉、开除Nir”;另有一个标语则是“纽约时报你不知羞耻、你们的谎言害死我们的店”。按照计划,今天11点在时报大厦前面将举行另外一场抗议活动。

I’m not the first reporter to scrutinize Nir’s reporting. In July, Richard Bernstein, a 24-year veteran of the Times who left the paper in 2006, published “What the Times Got Wrong About Nail Salons” in the online edition of The New York Review of Books. His knowledge of the industry comes through his wife, Zhongmei Li, who owns and manages two nail salons in Manhattan.

我并是不第一个仔细检讨Nir报道的记者。曾为《时报》工作24年并于2006年离职的老前辈Richard Bernstein已在《纽约书评》在线版上发表文章“时报在美甲沙龙问题上犯了什么错”。他对这一行业的了解来自他的妻子Zhongmei Li,Li在曼哈顿拥有并管理着两家美甲沙龙。

Bernstein charged that Nir’s story focused on a small segment of the industry while ignoring the vast majority of nail salons, which pay above the minimum wage and hire only licensed manicurists. His piece specifically challenged the Times’ claim that the Asian-language newspapers are “rife” with manicurist ads offering shockingly low wages. After Bernstein’s story appeared, the Times’ editors penned a public letter offering new evidence to support Nir’s claim.

Bernstein指责Nir在报道中只注意了该行业的一隅,忽视了大多数美甲沙龙,它们的薪酬高于最低工资,并且只录用拥持证美甲师。针对《时报》关于亚州语言报纸“充斥”着工资极低的美甲师招聘广告的说法,Bernstein在文章中还专门提出质疑。此文问世之后,《时报》编辑又撰写了一封公开信,提供新的证据支持Nir的说法。

As I’ll explain, the Times editors mistranslated and misconstrued that new evidence, which actually validates Bernstein’s argument.

下文我将解释,《时报》的编辑们对这一新证据的翻译和解释都有误,该证据实际上证实了Bernstein的论点。

Nir and her editors declined my interview requests. Instead, a Times spokesperson provided a prepared statement, asserting that the paper is “extremely proud” of the series and pointing to the high number of labor violations discovered by Cuomo’s inspection task force since the series appeared.

Nir及其编辑拒绝了我的采访请求。反倒是《时报》有个发言人提供了一份事先准备好的声明,坚持说该报为这两篇报道感到“非常骄傲”,并且援引了报道问世后由Cuomo的特别调查小组所发现的大量违法用工案例。

Those labor violations don’t reveal what the Times claims they do. In its zeal to cite the government’s ex post vindication of its own reporting, the paper further obfuscated what’s really happening in the industry.

这些违法用工并不能展现《时报》认为它们所能展现的情况。通过热情征引政府在其报道之后所提供的事后证词,时报进一步模糊了这一行业中正在发生的实情。

My look at Nir’s reporting and its shortcomings will appear in three installments. First, I’ll revisit the Times’ back-and-forth with Bernstein and explain why the paper’s claim that manicurists are paid shockingly low wages is based on shoddy research and misconstrued evidence.

我对Nir报道及其缺陷的检查将分为三个部分呈现。首先,我要再次分析《时报》与Bernstein之间的交锋,并解释为什么说该报关于美甲师工资极低的断言只是基于劣质的调研和曲解的证据。

Next, I’ll look at Cuomo’s inspection task force, the fines and violations being handed out to salon owners, and how the governor’s actions have had the unintended consequence of making it harder for undocumented immigrants to get jobs in nail salons. (That article is now online here.)

然后,我会考察Cuomo的特别调查小组、沙龙店主接到的罚款和违章,以及州长的行动如何产生了意料之外的后果,使得非法移民比之前更难在美甲沙龙找到工作。(第二弹在线阅读地址在这里。 )

The third installment will look at the Times’ claim that chemicals present in nail salons are causing cancer and miscarriages, which is based on nonexistent evidence. (Click here to read part three.)

第三部分要考察的则是《时报》的一个说法:美甲沙龙中的化学物质正在导致癌症和流产。这一说法全无依据。(可通过以下链接阅读第三弹。)

Job Ads “Paying So Little” They “Appear To Be a Typo”
招聘广告“工资极低”“还以为是印刷错误”。

In an early paragraph in the Times’ first story in the nail salon series, we read:

在《时报》关于美甲沙龙的系列文章第一篇中,我们在前面几段中可以读到以下说法:

Asian-language newspapers are rife with classified ads listing manicurist jobs paying so little the daily wage can at first glance appear to be a typo. Ads in Chinese in both Sing Tao Daily and World Journal for NYC Nail Spa, a second-story salon on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, advertised a starting wage of $10 a day. The rate was confirmed by several workers.

“亚洲语言报纸充满了列有美甲师招聘的分类广告,日薪极低,初看起来还以为是印刷错误。“NYC美甲Spa”是曼哈顿上西区一家位于二楼的沙龙,在《星岛日报》和《世界日报》上的中文广告中给出的起薪是10美元一天。好几位工人证实确为这一价格。”

Richard Bernstein, who rightly called this paragraph a “linchpin” of Nir’s first article, was incredulous that anyone would advertise a day wage of $10 given that his wife must guarantee wages of about ten times that to attract qualified applicants. So he went looking through the classifieds in back issues of the Chinese-language newspaper, The World Journal, and couldn’t find a single ad that mentioned wages under $70 per day. He found one ad offering to pay between $110 and $130 per day.

Richard Bernstein极为正确地把这一段叫做Nir首篇文章的“要害之处”。他不相信有任何人会在广告中登出日薪10美元的工资,因为他的妻子必须保证提供大约10倍左右的工资才能吸引到合格的应聘者。所以他就去翻阅《世界日报》这份中文报纸过刊中的分类广告,结果没能找到任何一个广告所提工资低于70美元一天。其中一份广告甚至愿意支付110到130美元的日薪。

Other than the $10 ad that Nir references—which I’ll return to in a moment—Nir doesn’t cite any other specific ads paying wages so low they “appear to be a typo.” But after Bernstein highlighted this passage in The New York Review of Books, Times editors Dean Baquet, Wendell Jamieson, and Michael Luo co-signed a letter defending Nir’s reporting.

Nir除了提到这一10美元广告之外(下文会再来讨论这个问题),并没有引用过任何其他工资极低以至于让人“以为是印刷错误”的特定广告。但在Bernstein在《纽约书评》上突出强调了这一段之后,《时报》的编辑Dean Baquet, Wendell Jamieson和Michael Luo一起签署了一封公开信,捍卫Nir的报道。

Their letter cites three more ads to support Nir’s claim:

这封信又提到另外三份广告,以支撑Nir的说法:

One [ad] from June 19, 2014, in the World Journal, for example, showed a starting wage of $40 a day for “small job”…Another ad from July 17, 2014 in The World Journal also showed a $40 a day wage. And another one from April 17, 2014 showed a pay range of $40 to $90 a day. These examples were taken from a random sampling of days.

“比如,在《世界日报》2014年6月19日的一份广告里,一份‘小工作’的起薪是40美元每天……《世界日报》2014年7月17日的另外一份广告,也开出了40美元的日薪。另外一份2014年4月17日的,则提到日薪在40美元至90美元之间。这些例子只是我们从随机选择的日子里看到的。”

The Times editors also posted high-resolution copies of the three ads to the photo-sharing site Flickr, but, somewhat suspiciously, the Chinese characters are out of focus and my translator couldn’t decipher them. So I went to The World Journal‘s headquarters in Queens and obtained new copies of the ads, which I’ve posted here.

《时报》编辑还把这三份广告的高清复印件放到了图片分享网站Flicker上面,但有些可疑的是,上面的中文却没有对好焦,我的翻译都看不清。所以我去了《世界日报》位于皇后区的总部,找到了这些广告的新拷贝,将它们贴在这里。

The ads don’t say what the Times editors claim they do. Two of the ads they cite actually say that a mani/pedi costs $40 at the salon, not that a worker would be paid $40. Why include such a detail in a job ad? It implies big tips.

这些广告并没有表达《时报》编辑宣称它们所表达的那层意思。他们所提到的广告中,其中有两份实际说的是在沙龙中做一次指甲/趾甲全套需花费40美元,而不是说工人工资是40美元。为什么广告中要提到这种细节?因为它意味着小费很高。

The first one translates as: “UV gel, big jobs, experienced small jobs, and cosmeticians. Flushing pickup and drop-off. Mani/Pedi $40 with commission, good percentage tips, may file taxes.”

第一份广告翻译如下:“UV胶、大工、熟手小工兼美容。法拉盛接送。手脚$40,多提成。好小费。可报税。”

The second one reads: “Seeking UV gel experienced big jobs, small jobs, and cosmeticians. Pickup and drop-off at Flushing, Mani/Pedi $40 or more, expensive jobs.”

第二份广告说的是:“请UV大工,经验小工,兼美容。开车,法拉盛接送。手脚$40,多大脚。”

40ad

Both ads were posted by Michael Ling, the owner of a nail salon in Fairfield, Connecticut. (The World Journal is a regional paper). In an interview conducted through a translator, Ling confirmed that what the ad said is correct. He included the price of a mani/pedi to entice potential employees by indicating that the store serves a wealthy, and likely generous, clientele.

登广告的是Michael Ling,他是康涅狄格州费尔菲尔德一家美甲沙龙的店主(《世界日报》是一家区域性报纸)。在有翻译在场的采访中,Ling确认广告所言没错。他将做指甲/趾甲全套的价格写进去是为了表示店里服务的都是富裕且可能很慷慨的客户,以吸引潜在雇员。

The third ad the Times editors produced in response to Bernstein offers a wage of “$40-90.” I interviewed the salon owner who posted that ad, David Lee. His shop went out of business in 2014, in part, he says, because he struggled to attract enough qualified manicurists. Lee says he was offering full-time workers a base salary of $90 per day and part-time workers $40 per day.

《时报》编辑为回应Bernstein而找出的第三份广告提供的工资是“40至90美元”。我采访了刊登这一广告的沙龙店主David Lee。他的沙龙已经于2014年停业,据他所说,部分的是因为他奋力想要吸引足够的合格美甲师。Lee说他给全职员工支付的底薪是每天90美元,而兼职工则是每天40美元。

The $10 Ad
日薪10美元的广告

The only remaining evidence that the Asian-language newspapers are “rife” with ads listing “jobs paying so little the daily wage can at first glance appear to be a typo” is the $10 ad Nir specifically referenced.

亚洲语言报纸“充斥”着“日薪极低,初看起来还以为是印刷错误”的广告,这种说法现在只剩下唯一的证据了,那就是Nir特别提到的日薪10美元的广告。

“[I]t’s not clear whether the reporter saw the ad at all,” Richard Bernstein wrote in the New York Review of Books.

“完全不知道记者有没有看到这份广告。”Richard Bernstein在《纽约书评》上如是说。

It turns out Nir did see the ad, but once again it doesn’t say what the Times claimed it does. The day Bernstein’s article appeared, Nir posted an image of the ad to Twitter:

结果是,Nir确实看过这份广告,但这里也一样,这份广告并没有表达《时报》宣称它所表达的意思。Bernstein的文章出来的当天,Nir就在Twitter上贴出了这份广告的图像:

CKy_g1TUMAALDjACKzcWrzUMAEBFhr

The ad that “doesn’t exist” according to @R_Bernstein & @nybooks who calls me a liar & didn’t bother to interview me — Sarah Nir (@SarahMaslinNir) July 25, 2015

@R_Bernstein和@nybooks 宣称这份广告“并不存在”,说我是骗子,却不愿意费心采访一下我 —— Sarah Nir (@SaraMaslinNir)2015年7月25日

That ad (Nir later tweeted a magnified version) actually offers to pay manicurists $75 per day in base pay; under that, it notes that “apprentices,” or “trainees,” can earn $10 per day. What does it mean to be a “trainee?” Was Nir wrong to leave that detail out?

这份广告(Nir后来曾在Twitter上贴出其放大版)实际上给美甲师开出的底薪是每天75美元;后面则提到“学徒”或“实习工”每天可以赚到10美元。“实习工”是什么意思?Nir对这一细节的忽略有错吗?

“Lest there be confusion…these are not the equivalent of unpaid summer interns at a magazine,” wrote the Times editors in their defense of Nir’s reporting. “Interviews by Ms. Nir and her team with employees of the salon confirmed that these were essentially beginning workers, doing the same jobs as others in the salon,” they wrote.

“不要误解……他们跟没有薪酬的杂志暑期实习生并不一样”,《时报》编辑在他们为Nir报道的辩护中如此写道。他们还说,“Nir小姐及其团队经与沙龙雇员交谈证实,实习工本质上就是新手,在沙龙里做的事与其他人没有什么不同。”

But the salon owner who posted the ad disputes the Times’ characterization—as does one former apprentice who answered that $10 ad back in 2014.

但是,刊登这一广告的沙龙店主可不同意《时报》的描述。同样,一位在2014年曾答复过这份日薪10美元广告的前学徒工也不同意。

“We would never let them touch customers,” said Yun Jun Long, the former owner of NYC Nail Spa, in an interview conducted through a translator. “If the customer is spending money, you can’t stick them with an inexperienced worker.” (Long’s salon went out of business a month after the Times’ story appeared, which he attributes to the negative publicity. He’s now helping to organize the recent protests.)

“我们绝不会让他们接触顾客”,“NYC美甲Spa”的前店主Yun Jun Long在有翻译在场的一次采访中如是说。“如果顾客花了钱,你不能让一个没有经验的员工去应付他们。”Long的沙龙在《时报》报道出来一个月之后停业了,他认为原因就是负面名声。他现在正帮忙组织近期的抗议活动。

The $10, he says, was meant to cover subway fare and lunch, and those who signed on could come and go as they pleased. During slow periods they could practice on other employees or receive lessons from Long’s wife and mother-in-law—partners in the business who also worked in the store.

他还说,广告里提到的10美元只是为了提供地铁票和午餐,并且受雇的人来去自如。如果店里不忙,他们就可以在其他员工身上做练习,或者跟着Long的妻子和岳母(都是Long的生意合伙人,同时也在店里工作)学习。

At my request, Long put me in touch with Jay, a 28-year old undocumented immigrant and former trainee at NYC Nail Spa who asked that I not include his full name. Through a translator, Jay confirmed that he never worked on a customer for the two weeks when he was making just $10 per day.

应我的请求,Long帮我联系上了Jay。Jay是个28岁的无证移民,曾在“NYC美甲Spa”当过实习工。他要求我不提及其全名。通过翻译,Jay向我证实,在每天只赚取10美元的两个星期中,他从没有给任何顾客做过美甲。

Nir has said on Twitter that she visited NYC Nail Spa six times. (Long recalls seeing her come into the store just once.) Even if that’s true, it wouldn’t be surprising if she misreported what was actually going on in the shop; at several points in her coverage, Nir muddled what apprenticeship programs of this sort are all about.

Nir在Twitter上曾说,她到“NYC美甲Spa”访问过6次(而Long记得她只到过店里1次)。即便这是真的,她对店里的真实情况的报道会出错,也并不令人生奇;在报道中的数个地方,她都没有搞清这种学徒计划到底是什么意思。

The main character in the first installment of the series was a 20-year-old Chinese immigrant named Jing Ren, who also went through an apprenticeship program. Without any prior experience doing nails, she got a job working unpaid for her first three months. Ren was also initially asked to pay $100 to the owner of her salon for teaching her basic skills.

在这个系列报道的第一部分中,主要人物是一个20岁的中国移民,名叫任静。任静也参加过学徒计划。在此前没有任何美甲经验的情况下,她找到了一份工作,头三个月没有工资。一开始,她还被要求向她所在沙龙的店主支付100美元,因为后者要教她基本技能。

Times readers may find this practice reprehensible, but Nir left out background details that might lessen their outrage. These apprentice programs are an alternative to going through one of the New York State-certified nail training programs, where tuition is about $1,000 and students must complete 250 hours of formal training before getting licensed.

《时报》的读者可能觉得这种做法应该谴责。但是Nir在此略去了一些背景细节,而这些细节有可能能够缓解读者的愤慨。如果不参加这种学徒计划,你就得全程参加由纽约州批准的美甲培训计划之一,费用大约1000美元,而学员必须在完成250小时的正式培训之后,才能得到执照。

It was technically illegal to work as a manicurist without completing one of these training programs when Nir was doing her reporting. (In July, two months after the Times series appeared, the state passed a bill creating a legal pathway to learn on the job, which I’ll discuss in the next installment in this series.)

在Nir进行报道的时候,如果没有完成任何一个此类培训计划就去做美甲师,严格来说是非法的。(7月份,也就是《时报》的系列报道面世两个月之后,纽约州通过了一项法律,为边做边学提供了合法通道。关于这一点,我将在第二弹中加以讨论。)

This type of arrangement is by no means an industry norm, but some salon owners flouted the law because they had more customers than employees; generally, the demand for skilled labor outpaces the number of licensed manicurists the beauty schools can mint. They got away with it because enforcement was lax.

这种办法绝非行业通例,一些沙龙店主对这一法律并不以为然,因为他们的顾客比雇员要多。一般来说,对熟练劳工的需求会超过美容学校能够生产生的持证美甲师的数量。店主们之所以能够铤而走险,是因为执法并不严格。

Like Jay, Jing Ren had the option of spending about a month and a half studying at a state-certified school and paying $1,000 to learn her craft. Instead, she opted to pay $100 and work for no pay for three months. It’s not clear that Nir ever asked Ren why she made that choice.

任静跟Jay一样,本可以选择去一个由州政府批准的学校学习这门技术,所费时间大约是一个半月,而价格则是1000美元。不过,她选择的是花费100美元,不领工资上班3个月。我们不清楚Nir是否追问她做出这种选择的理由。

Jay, who was in debt when he started as a trainee at NYC Nail Spa, couldn’t afford beauty school. The apprenticeship program worked out for him: Now he’s employed as a manicurist at a salon in New Jersey, where his daily base pay is $90, not including tips.

Jay刚开始在“NYC美甲Spa”做实习工时已经负债累累,无法支付美容学校的费用。学徒计划对他很有帮助。他如今在新泽西的一家美甲店里被聘为美甲师,每天的底薪是90美元,此外还有小费。

The apprenticeship program also worked out for Jing Ren, who by the end of the Times story was making $65 a day in base compensation.

学徒计划对任静也很有帮助,在《时报》报道的结尾,她的底薪已经是每天65美元了。

Are Apprenticeship Programs Prevalent in the Nail Industry?
美甲行业中学徒制很流行吗?

Nir declares that “[Jing Ren’s] deal was the same as it is for beginning manicurists in almost any salon in the New York area.” (Italics mine.)

Nir宣称,“在纽约地区几乎所有沙龙中,刚刚入行的美甲师都需要经历类似任静的这种交易。”(斜体为本文所加。)

Yet she provides no proof for this statement, and all the available evidence indicates that Ren’s deal was unusual. There are 30,610 licensed manicurists in New York State, all of whom would have had no need for an apprenticeship program. According to the Korean-American Nail Salon Association, there are more than 7,000 shops.

但她没有为这一断言提供任何证据,而所有可以找到的证据都表明,任静所做的交易并不寻常。纽约州有30610位持证美甲师,他们就无需学徒计划。根据“韩裔美国人美甲沙龙协会”的信息,美甲店超过7000家。

Nir supports this claim with anecdotal examples, including a disputed paragraph about a shop called May’s Nail Salon, located on 14th Street:

Nir为这一说法提供的支撑都是些道听途说的个例,其中有一段涉及位于十四街一家叫做“小梅美甲沙龙”的,就很有争议:

Step into the prim confines of almost any salon and workers paid astonishingly low wages can be readily found. At May’s…new employees must pay $100, then work unpaid for several weeks, before they are started at $30 or $40 a day, according to a worker. A man who identified himself as the owner, but would give his name only as Greg, said the salon did not charge employees for their jobs, but would not say how much they are paid.

走进几乎任何一家沙龙的整洁隔间,很容易就能找到工资低得惊人的员工。在小梅美甲店,一个员工说,新员工要先交100美元,接下来需要免费工作几周,然后才开始日薪30-40美元的工作。一个自称店主的男人只愿意透露自己叫Greg,他说他们不要求员工交钱换工作,但拒绝透露员工工资。

The owner of May’s Nail Salon is actually a woman named Bao Mei Fitzgibbons, who goes by “Mei.” Greg, who Nir mistook as the owner, is an employee at the shop. Nir could easily have found Fitzgibbons’ name by searching New York State’s online corporation and business entity database.

小梅美甲店的店主实际上是个女的,叫做Bao Mei Fitzgibbons,大家管她叫“梅”。而被Nir误认为店主的Greg则是店里的一个雇员。如果Nir搜索一下纽约州的“公司与企业单位在线数据库”,她就能轻松找到Fitzgibbons的名字。

Fitzgibbons says she was never interviewed by Nir, and scoffed when I asked if she charges new employees $100. “Think about it,” Fitzgibbons says, “you work for me and I charge you $100?” The framed licenses of Fitzgibbons’ employees are prominently displayed on the wall of her shop, indicating that they went through the official, state-authorized training program.

Fitzgibbons说Nir从来没有采访过她,当我问她是不是向新员工收取100美元时,她连连冷笑。“你想想嘛”,她说:“你为我工作,然后我收你100美元?”Fitzgibbons把雇员们的执照装裱好,显眼地挂在门店的墙上,以表明他们都完整接受过正式的、经州政府认可的培训计划。

Fitzgibbons says she observed Nir come into her store and engage one of her manicurists in conversation without a translator. According to Fitzgibbons, the woman, who barely speaks English, later said that she was misquoted in the Times. The manicurist says she told Nir—again according to Fitzgibbons—that there are salons out there that charge trainees $100; she didn’t say that May’s is one of them.

Fitzgibbons说她注意到Nir进了她的店子,并与她的美甲师之一进行了交谈,当时没有翻译。Fitzgibbons还说,被采访的女性基本不会说英语,后来还表示《时报》错误引用了她的话。这位美甲师说(这里还是根据Fitzgibbons的说法),她告诉Nir的是,有些沙龙会向实习工收取100美元,她没说梅的店也是如此。

(On my behalf, Fitzgibbons reached out to the manicurist interviewed by Nir, who no longer works at the store. Fitzgibbons says the woman declined my interview request on the grounds that “she doesn’t want publicity.”)

(Nir采访过的这位美甲师现已不再在Fitzgibbons的店里工作。应我的请求,Fitzgibbons联系了她。Fitzgibbons说她拒绝了我的采访请求,原因是“她不想曝光”。)

In another case, Nir spent time reporting at a salon that hires only licensed manicurists trained at a beauty school but left it out of her coverage.

另外,Nir还曾花费时间在一家只雇佣受过美容学校培训的持证美甲师的沙龙里采访,但在文章中却没有提及。

ThinkPink is a small chain of nail salons in Manhattan run by Eun Hye Lee (she goes by “Grace”), who says she was interviewed by Nir. Lee, who is careful to maintain her books to the letter of the law, granted my request to inspect her payroll records. They showed that one experienced manicurist at ThinkPink’s West Village branch had earned $680 in base pay, plus $216 in overtime, totaling $896 for a 48.5 hour week. A beginning manicurist in the same shop earned $493 for a 39-hour workweek, or $12.64 per hour.

ThinkPink是曼哈顿一家小型美甲连锁店,经营者叫做Eun Hye Lee(人们叫她Grace)。她表示曾接受过Nir的采访。Lee恪守法律条文的规定,很仔细地记有账本,并惠允我查阅她的薪酬发放记录。记录表明,一个在ThinkPink西村分店工作的熟练美甲师,某星期工作48.5小时,赚到底薪680美元,另外还有216美元加班费,共896美元。在同一门店,某位刚入行的美甲师某周工作39小时,赚得493美元,每小时合12.64美元。

Lee says Nir first interviewed her at ThinkPink in 2014. Several months later, she returned unannounced and asked for a pedicure. She struck up a conversation with her manicurist, a Chinese immigrant named Xiao Su, who goes by Zoey.

Lee说Nir第一次采访她是在2014年,在ThinkPink店里。几个月后,Nir没打招呼就来到店里,请人给她修脚。之后她就和美甲师谈了起来,她的美甲师是位来自中国的移民,叫做小苏,大家都叫她Zoey。

Lee put me in touch with Su, who no longer works at ThinkPink. She said in a phone interview that she told Nir that the pay at ThinkPink was “very good” and that Lee was a good boss who’s always “very nice.” She declined to tell Nir her salary, deeming it a rude question. Su, who emigrated from China in 1997, is a licensed technician who attended manicurists’ school.

Lee帮我联系上了小苏,她如今已不在ThinkPink工作。她在电话采访中说,她告诉过Nir,ThinkPink的薪酬“很可观”,而且Lee是个好老板,总是“特别友善”。她拒绝向Nir告知自己的薪水,认为这种追问是失礼。小苏1997年从中国移民到美,上过美甲师学校,是位持证技师。

Neither ThinkPink, nor Nir’s interview with Lee, were mentioned in the Times‘ coverage.

关于ThinkPink以及Nir对Lee的采访,《时报》的报道均没有提及。

More Evidence of Low Wages?
更多低薪证据?

To gauge the average pay for manicurists, Nir might have turned first to the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency reported that in 2014, manicurists in New York’s metropolitan area earned an average hourly wage of $9.19 per hour. It also reports an annual mean wage of $19,110.

要估计美甲师的平均薪酬,Nir本该首先求助联邦劳工统计局(BLS)。根据该局2014年报告,纽约大都市区范围内的美甲师赚取的平均时薪是9.19美元。报告里还提到,他们的平均年薪为19110美元。

BLS data, which is routinely cited in the Times, is subject to error and certainly overly precise. But in this case, these figures are the best information available. And the numbers indicate that the average manicurist earns above the minimum wage.

BLS的数据经常被《时报》引用,当然包含有错漏之处,有时则显得过分精确。但就当前争论而言,这些数据是我们可以拿到的最可靠信息。数据表明,美甲师的工资平均而言高于最低工资。

Instead of citing the BLS’ numbers, however, Nir relied on her own survey that included “more than 100 workers.” In fact, other than the classified ads, this is her main piece of evidence that the “vast majority” of salon workers earn less than the minimum wage.

但是,Nir却没有引用BLS的数据,而是依靠自己针对“超过100位工人”的调查。事实上,“绝大部分”美甲店员工工资低于最低工资这一说法的主要证据,除了分类广告之外,就是她的这一调查了。

Nir collected the data on the streets of Queens early in the morning, where salon owners (mostly from Long Island) often pick up manicurists in vans and drive them to work, and in chats that she struck up with manicurists (many of whom aren’t native English speakers) while having her nails done.

Nir是在清晨的皇后区大街上收集到这些数据的,那正是沙龙店主(主要来自长岛)用面包车来接美甲师并把他们送到工作地点的时候,也有一些是在做指甲时通过和她的美甲师(其中大多数人母语非英语)交谈获得的。

In an interview with the Times about her series after it appeared, Nir says she kept “detailed spreadsheets” with this information. I asked for a copy of these spreadsheets. She declined my request.

在系列文章面世之后接受《时报》采访时,Nir说她保存有这些信息的“详细表格”。我曾问她索要一份,遭到了她的拒绝。

Gathering data of this sort is inherently difficult, even for professionals. Pollsters at organizations like Gallup, Pew, and BLS strive to reach population samples that mirror the broader communities they’re studying. They carefully frame questions in an unbiased manner, and only impartial interviewers do the asking. Under the best of circumstances, figures derived with these methods are imprecise and reporters generally cite them along with a margin of error.

即便对于专家,此类数据收集工作也有着内在的困难。在盖洛普、皮尤和BLS等组织工作的民意测验专家都要辛苦奔忙,以使自己的人口样本能够反映他们所研究的更大群体。他们以一种无偏的方式小心设计问题,而且只找不带偏见的访谈者来提问。在最好的情况下,以这种方法得到的数据都并不精确,记者在引用它们的时候通常也会附带些许错误。

Economists are skeptical of the wage survey data collected by the BLS because it’s based on trust and memory. (How many hours did you work last week?) The gold standard in wage data—reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis—is derived from documentation that companies are required to provide the government related to unemployment insurance.

经济学家并不太相信BLS收集的工资调查数据,因为这项调查基于信任和记忆。(比如,请问你上周工作了多长时间?)工资数据的优质标准是联邦经济分析局的报告,它来自于各公司按要求提供的与失业保险有关的文件。

The Times might have hired a polling firm to improve on the BLS’ finding. Instead, it relied on Nir’s survey, which was drawn from a non-representative sample and carried out by a reporter who won’t share her methodology, question phrasing, or tabulated results. There’s simply no reason to believe that Nir’s data presents an accurate, representative picture of nail industry wages.

《时报》本来可以请一家调查公司来改进BLS的发现。不过,它选择依靠Nir的调查,而该调查的抽样并不具备代表性,而负责实施的记者又不愿意公开其方法、提问措辞或调查结果表格。我们没法相信Nir的数据呈现出了美甲行业工资的准确且有代表性的图景。

Also, Nir’s report doesn’t discuss gratuities. In fact, nowhere does the Times coverage attempt to gauge average daily tips in the industry or what workers actually take home in total compensation.

另外,Nir的报告还没有提及小费。事实上,《时报》的报道没有一处地方试图估计一下美甲行业的日均小费是多少,或者员工们拿到手的总报酬是多少。

This is like writing a 7,000-word piece on what waiters make for a living but focusing only on base compensation. “There should have been several paragraphs on the subject,” says Aiming Feng, the accountant and business consultant who counts about 50 nail salons as clients. (Feng also volunteers once a week at once a week at the Lin Sing Association, a social service organization in Manhattan’s Chinatown, where he helps manicurists with legal and tax issues.)

这就像是写篇7000字的文章描述餐厅服务员们以何为生,却只关注他们的底薪。“应该花几个段落讨论下这个问题”,Aiming Feng说,他是一位会计兼商业顾问,大概有50家美甲沙龙是他的客户。(Feng也是曼哈顿唐人街一家叫做“Lin Sing协会”的社会服务组织的志愿者,他每周服务一次,帮助美甲师们解决法律和税务问题。)

Feng says that during “sandal season” at many shops tips equal or exceed base compensation.

Feng说,一到“凉鞋季”,许多店里的小费能够追平甚至超过底薪。

Another “Damning” Piece of Evidence?
另一条“确凿” 罪证?

Nir offers more proof that the “vast majority” of manicurists earn less than the minimum wage: a two-sentence summary quote derived from an interview with Sangho Lee, the president of the Korean-American Nail Salon Association.

关于“绝大多数”美甲师工资低于最低工资,Nir有更多证据:一条两句话的总结,引用来自她对Sangho Lee的采访。Lee是“韩裔美国人美甲沙龙协会”的主席。

Nir writes:

Nir写道:

[Lee] declined a request to address issues of underpayment. So many owners do not pay minimum wage, he said, that he believed answering any questions would hurt the industry.

“Lee拒绝回应我关于报酬过低问题的提问。他说,许多店主支付不到最低工资,所以他觉得回答此类问题会伤害到整个行业。”

In their letter defending Nir’s reporting, the Times editors highlighted Lee’s testimony as among “the most damning findings.”

在为Nir的报道辩护的公开信中,《时报》的编辑们强调,Lee的证词是“罪证确凿的发现”之一。

These two sentences came from the roughly two-and-a-half hours Nir spent interviewing Lee on two occasions. First, she met with him in person at the Association’s office in Flushing, Queens with a Korean translator named Jiha Ham present. She later did a follow-up interview over the phone without a translator. According to Lee, Nir’s paraphrase of his statement comes from the second interview.

这两句话来自于Nir对Lee的采访,两次采访总长大概有两个半小时。第一次,她亲自去皇后区法拉盛该协会的办公室拜访Lee,当时有一位韩国翻译Jiha Ham在场。后来,她又在电话里做了一次跟踪访谈,这次没带翻译。根据Lee的说法,Nir转述的他的言论发生于第二次访谈。

Lee says that he was misquoted. “I told her that like any industry, there are nail salons that pay less and have worse conditions,” he said. “Then I told her that even though 80 to 90 percent of the industry pays much more than the minimum wage, it would inappropriate for me to say anything negative about the industry as the president of the leading industry association.”

Lee说他遭到了错误引用。“我告诉她的是,跟许多行业一样,也有些美甲沙龙存在薪酬较低、条件恶劣的情况”,他说,“然而,我还告诉她,尽管行业中有80%到90%的薪酬水平远高于最低工资,让我发表关于这一行业的负面看法也是不恰当的,因为我是一个十分重要的行业协会的主席。”

Is Lee telling the truth that Nir distorted his comments? Since there were no third-party witnesses to the conversation, there’s no way to know. But it’s hard to believe that Lee would disparage the nail salon industry.

Lee有关Nir曲解了他的言论的说法是否真实?由于谈话时并没有第三方见证人在场,我们不得而知。但我们很难相信Lee会诋毁整个美甲行业。

Founded 28 years ago, the Korean-American Nail Salon Association’s mission is to promote best practices in the industry. It has 1,200 dues-paying member stores. A thick glossy magazine published annually by the Association includes letters from elected officials lauding nail salons for their contribution to the local economy. The group also awards an annual $1,000 scholarship to six college students whose parents work as manicurists in its members’ shops.

成立于28年之前的韩裔美国人美甲沙龙协会致力于在整个行业中推广最好的做法。它拥有1200家缴纳会费的成员店。协会每年出版一份厚厚的有光纸杂志,上面还刊登有经选举上任的官员因美甲沙龙对地方经济作出贡献而撰写的表扬信。该团体每年还给父母为成员门店美甲师的6位大学生提供各1000美元的奖学金。

So why would the president of an industry organization undo decades of hard public relations work by making a “damning” statement to a Times reporter? Maybe Nir misconstrued his remarks: Lee barely speaks English, and yet Nir interviewed him over the phone without a translator on the line.

因此,为什么一位行业组织主席会破坏几十年来的公共关系辛苦成果,向《时报》记者提供这种“罪证确凿”的陈述呢?也许Nir误会了他的说法。Lee的英语非常不好,而Nir却不请翻译就通过电话采访了他。

How the Times Responded to a Salon Owner’s Attempt to Correct the Record
当沙龙店主试图更正记载时,《时报》是如何回应的呢

Nir writes that at Iris Nails on Manhattan’s Upper East Side “longtime workers described starting out at wages of $30 and $40 a day.”

Nir写道,在位于曼哈顿上东区的“艾丽斯美甲”店,“长期工人说他们的起步工资是每天30或40美元。”

It’s hard to believe that even beginning manicurists at Iris Nails would earn such meager pay. Located in one of New York City’s wealthiest neighborhoods, Iris is the type of shop manicurists aspire to work at for the generous tips.

即便是艾丽斯美甲店里的美甲师新手拿到这么低的工资,那也很难令人置信。艾丽斯开在纽约市最富有的街区之一,是所有美甲师都渴望去工作的地方,因为小费很慷慨。

When reporting the story, Nir left a message for Iris Nails’ owner, a Korean immigrant named Alex Park. He says he didn’t return her message because he didn’t understand the nature of the request.

在报道这一故事的时候,Nir给艾丽斯美甲的店主留了一则消息。这位名叫Alex Park的韩国移民说,他并没有回复,因为他没搞明白Nir的请求是什么意思。

When Park attempted to defend his reputation after the article appeared, the Times thwarted his efforts. The whole episode highlights the power imbalance between the Times and an immigrant community lacking in media savvy.

文章出来以后,Park试图捍卫自己的名声,而《时报》挫败了这一企图。整个剧情凸显了《时报》与缺乏媒体经验的移民群体之间的权力不平衡。

Park emphatically denies that his workers earn so little in base pay. He estimates that his lowest-level employees earn about $180 a day, including tips, and his most experienced employees can earn as much as $400 per day including tips and commission. (Park declined to allow me to examine his wage statements.)

Park断然否认他的员工所赚取的底薪如此之低。据他估计,最底层的雇员每天大约能挣到180美元,其中包含小费,而最熟练的雇员最多时每天能挣到400美元,其中包括小费和提成。(Park拒绝让我查看他的工资详单。)

After the article appeared, Park hired attorney Daniel Kim to contact the Times and demand a correction. Kim had a back and forth with the company’s assistant general counsel, David McCraw. (Through a spokesperson, McGraw declined my request for an interview.) The paper refused to alter the online version of the article, and it didn’t investigate the truthfulness of Park’s claim. Instead, Kim says, McCraw agreed that the Times would print a letter to the editor written by Park.

文章见报后,Park就聘请律师Daniel Kim联系纽约时报,要求进行更正。Kim和时报公司的助理法律总顾问David McCraw来来回回接触了多次。(McCraw通过发言人拒绝了我的采访请求)。时报拒绝更改文章的在线版本,也没有调查Park说法的真实性。作为替代,Kim说,McCraw同意在《时报》上刊登Park写给编辑的一封信。

Kim shared with me the letter Park submitted to Sue Mermelstein, an editor in the paper’s letters department:

Kim向我展示了Park写给时报读者来信部编辑Sue Mermelstein的信件:

To the Editor:

致编辑:

Your recent article “The High Price of Pretty Nails” will damage my business, Iris Nails. It seems that you needed a nail salon in a well-heeled neighborhood and targeted my business.

你们最近刊发的“漂亮指尖的高昂代价”一文将会伤害我的企业,即艾丽斯美甲。你们似乎就是想找到这么一家位于富裕街区的美甲沙龙,然后瞄准了我的企业。

I am preparing to retire after having worked for more than 22 years without any incident. Many of the employees in this type of services business have learned, earned and moved on to open their own shops. I have always treated all of my employees fairly and never took advantage of them.

我工作22年了,从未发生任何事故,现在正准备退休。在这类服务性企业工作过的许多雇员都已经学到东西、赚到钱并且更进一步经营起他们自己的门店。在对待自己的员工方面,我从来都很公平,从未占过他们便宜。

There is no employee who receives $30 to $40 a day on a full-time basis. There is no employee who receives below the minimum wages required by the State of New York. In fact, most of our employees make double of minimum wages including tips.

根本就没有全职员工每天只能获得30到40美元的事。也没有任何员工拿到的工资低于纽约州规定的最低工资水平。事实上,把小费包含在内,我的大多数员工能赚到最低工资的两倍。

Korean-American business owners in New York are very hard-working people. We have dedicated our lives to whichever field afforded us an opportunity to prosper and live out the American dream. I write this letter with great sorrow and anger.

生活于纽约的韩裔美国人店主都很吃苦耐劳。只要某个领域能够给我们提供机会,让我们走向成功并实现美国梦,我们都会全身心地投入进去。写这封信的时候,我心中充满悲伤和愤怒。

The Times did print a version of the letter on May 17—but with notable changes.

《时报》5月17日确实刊登了此信件的一个版本,但改动颇大。

First, it cut out Park’s assertion that the paper had erred in its reporting. These three sentences were dropped:

首先,它删除了Park认为该报之前报道出错的观点。删去的是以下三句话:

There is no employee who receives $30 to $40 a day on a full-time basis. There is no employee who receives below the minimum wages required by the State of New York. In fact, most of our employees make double of minimum wages including tips.

根本就没有全职员工每天只能获得30到40美元的事。也没有任何员工拿到的工资低于纽约州规定的最低工资水平。事实上,把小费包含在内,我的大多数员工能赚到最低工资的两倍。

In their place, the Times added a new sentence that reads, “I am committed to abiding by the law in paying my employees.” In other words, the rewrite makes it sound as if Park was conceding that the Times’ reporting on his store was not only correct, but that it inspired him to reform his illegal practices.

在这个地方,《时报》插入了一个新句子,内容是:“在支付员工工资方面,我决心遵从法律规定。”换句话说,这一改写让Park听起来像是在承认《时报》关于他的美甲店的报道很正确,不仅如此,他似乎还受此激励,准备改变之前的非法做法。

Times editor Sue Mermelstein said in a phone interview that there was an extensive back-and-forth with attorney McGraw over the wording of the letter. “We don’t have the resources to go out and check the facts,” she says, “and we didn’t want to let him make a statement that we felt was inaccurate.”

《时报》编辑Sue Mermelstein在接受电话采访时说,在该信件的措辞方面,曾与律师McGraw进行过大量的意见交换。“我们没有办法去检验事实”,她说,“而且我们也不想让他发表一个我们觉得并不准确的声明。”

So they decided to cut out Park’s contention that the coverage was inaccurate and replaced it with a line that McGraw “felt comfortable with because it’s not a factual statement.”

所以他们决定删除Park关于报道不真实的观点,并用McGraw“觉得舒坦”的一句话取而代之,因为“这句话不是在陈述事实。”

The Times ran the new wording by Kim and Park, and they signed off on it. Attorney Kim doesn’t recall the specific details, but says his client decided not to pursue the matter any further because he’s “afraid of The New York Times.”

《时报》把新的措辞发回Kim和Park征求意见,他们在上面签字了。律师Kim不再记得具体细节,但是他说,他的客户决定不再继续追究这一事件,因为他“害怕《纽约时报》”。

Did the Times Get the Story Right Anyway?
《时报》的故事究竟是对是错?

Nir’s claim that manicurists earn shockingly low wages was based on mistranslated and misconstrued classified ads, anecdotes and interviews contested by her sources, and an anecdotal survey that she used in place of official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nir关于美甲师工资极低的说法,依据只有翻译错误和理解错误的分类广告、道听途说和遭到其信源反驳的采访,另外还有她弃劳工统计局官方数据不用而进行的一次业余调查。

Yet did she still get the story right? In response to Nir’s critics, the Times has pointed to the high number of minimum wage violations reported by the state Department of Labor since the article appeared.

但是,她的故事仍然还是对的吗?在回应对Nir的批评时,《时报》又指出该文发表以后由州劳工部提供的违反最低工资法的超高案例数。

In the next piece in this series, I’ll scrutinize those violations and explain why, in fact, they don’t show what the Times claims. (That article is now online here.)

在本系列的下一篇中,我将仔细考察这些违法案例,并解释为什么它们事实上并没能证明《时报》的说法。(此文已经上线。)

(编辑:辉格@whigzhou)

*注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——

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The New York Times’ Nail Salons Series Was Filled with Misquotes and Factual Errors. Here’s Why That Matters. (Part 1) 《纽约时报》美甲沙龙系列文章充满征引错误和事实错误。我们来看看这事为什么要紧。(第一弹) 作者:Jim Epstein @ 2015-10-27 译者:沈沉(你在何地-sxy) 校对:Tankman 来源:Reason ,https://reason.com/blog/2015/10/27/new-york-times-nail-salon-unvarnished Reporter Sarah Maslin Nir's investigative series violated the standards of responsible journalism. 记者Sarah Maslin Nir的系列调查报道违反了负责任新闻报道的规范。 A two-part series in The New York Times on nail salons has brought sweeping changes to an industry dominated by Korean and Chinese immigrants. Written by reporter Sarah Maslin Nir, the series, which ran in print on May 10 and 11, focused on the plight of nail salon manicurists in New York City and Long Island. It depicted a community of immigrant workers paid shockingly low wages to beautify the fingers and toes of affluent New Yorkers while inhaling toxic fumes that cause miscarriages and cancer. 《纽约时报》关于美甲沙龙的前后两篇报道给这个由韩国移民和中国移民主导的产业带来了深远影响。这一系列报道由记者Sarah Maslin Nir撰写,发表于5月10日和11日,集中讲述了纽约市和长岛美甲沙龙里美甲师的窘困境况。在它所描绘的画面里,一群移民工人为了点极度微薄的工资,呼吸着能够导致流产和癌症的有毒气体,为纽约的富人们修饰手指和脚趾。 Nir, who spent 13 months on the project, said in an interview that she initially pitched the story as an "expose," adding that the "great lesson" readers should come away with is that there's "no such thing as a cheap luxury." The only way "you can have something decadent for a cheap price is by someone being exploited." (My Reason colleague, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, wrote a critique of Nir's series shortly after it was published.) Nir在这篇报道上耗费了13个月时间。在接受采访时她说,最初设计这个故事就是为了“曝光”。她还补充说,读者应从该报道中得到一个“重大教训”:世上并不存在“所谓的廉价奢华”。“廉价的放纵奢靡”只能用一个办法得到,那就是“某人遭到剥削”。(我在Reason的同事Elizabeth Nolan Brown在Nir的系列见报不久就写了一篇批评文章。) The "great lesson" here is actually something different. I've spent the last several weeks re-reporting aspects of Nir's story and interviewing her sources. Not only did Nir's coverage broadly mischaracterize the nail salon industry, several of the men and women she spoke with say she misquoted or misrepresented them. In some cases, she interviewed sources without translators despite their poor English skills. When her sources' testimonies ran counter to her narrative, she omitted them altogether. 但事实上,这里应被视为“重大教训”的,是另外一件事。过去几周,我都在重新报道Nir的故事的方方面面,并重新采访其信源。Nir的报道不仅明显扭曲了美甲沙龙产业,而且,曾与之交谈的几位男女还说她错误引用了他们的话或对他们描绘有误。有时候,尽管信源的英语水平很低,她在采访时也没有带翻译。如果信源的说法与她的故事有所抵触,她就会彻底无视这类说法。 The second article lent the Times' imprimatur to unproven theories, while committing science journalism's cardinal sin of highlighting alarmist anecdotes that aren't representative of systematic research. 系列文章中的第二篇则让《时报》为未经验证的理论提供了官方认可,该文犯下了科学新闻的核心重罪:突出强调危言耸听者所提供的那些不能代表系统研究的小道消息。 If it hadn't had real-world consequences, the series—and subsequent attempt by Nir and her editors to parry criticism—wouldn't be worth such intense scrutiny. But the day after the first article appeared in the print edition of the Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced a new multi-agency task force to inspect nail salons. In August, Cuomo issued an emergency order mandating that salons purchase a new form of insurance called a "wage bond" so that if owners are discovered paying their employees less than the legally required wage, the workers have recourse to collect. 两篇文章及随后Nir及其编辑为了回避批评所做出的种种努力本不值得用心细细考察,但是它们对真实世界的影响实在太大了。首篇文章在《时报》印刷版登出来的第二天,Andrew Guomo州长(民主党-纽约州)就宣布成立一个新的多部门联合特别小组,负责调查美甲沙龙。8月,Guomo签发了一条紧急命令,责令各沙龙购买一种叫做“工资保证金”的保险,一旦店主支付雇员的工资低于法定要求,工人们就有办法收账。 The rush to legislate based solely on the Times' shoddy reporting has hurt the industry. New nail salons, "which used to open every week in New York," have stopped appearing, according to Aiming Feng, an accountant and leading business advisor to nail shops. 这种仅仅基于《时报》劣质报道就做出的匆忙立法已经对这一行业造成伤害。据身为会计师和顶尖的美甲业商业顾问Aiming Feng所说,新的美甲沙龙已经停止开业,“此前纽约可是每周都会有新店开张”。 Salons once provided a steady source of jobs for undocumented immigrants; now many owners say they'll hire only legal workers who've completed an occupational licensing program because they're afraid of getting in trouble. 美甲沙龙曾为非法移民提供了一个稳定的工作来源。但是,许多店主说,他们以后只会雇佣完成了执业执照课程的合法工人,因为他们担心惹麻烦。 In September, two industry groups filed a discrimination lawsuit over the wage-bond mandate in New York State Supreme Court on the grounds that the state has unfairly singled out an Asian-dominated industry. 9月,有两个行业团体就工资保险令向纽约州最高法院提起歧视诉讼,理由是州政府此举单独针对由亚裔主导的行业,很不公平。 Another group has organized multiple protests, including a demonstration on October 6 in front of The New York Times Company's offices in midtown Manhattan. "Apology Now, Fire Nir!" was printed on one sign at the protest; "Shame On You New York Times, Your Lies Kill Our Shops," read another. Another protest is scheduled at 11a.m. today in front of the Times building. 另有一个团体则已经组织了多次抗议,包括10月6日在纽约时报公司位于曼哈顿中城的办公室外面所举行的示威。抗议活动中打出的一个标语上写着“立刻道歉、开除Nir”;另有一个标语则是“纽约时报你不知羞耻、你们的谎言害死我们的店”。按照计划,今天11点在时报大厦前面将举行另外一场抗议活动。 I'm not the first reporter to scrutinize Nir's reporting. In July, Richard Bernstein, a 24-year veteran of the Times who left the paper in 2006, published "What the Times Got Wrong About Nail Salons" in the online edition of The New York Review of Books. His knowledge of the industry comes through his wife, Zhongmei Li, who owns and manages two nail salons in Manhattan. 我并是不第一个仔细检讨Nir报道的记者。曾为《时报》工作24年并于2006年离职的老前辈Richard Bernstein已在《纽约书评》在线版上发表文章“时报在美甲沙龙问题上犯了什么错”。他对这一行业的了解来自他的妻子Zhongmei Li,Li在曼哈顿拥有并管理着两家美甲沙龙。 Bernstein charged that Nir's story focused on a small segment of the industry while ignoring the vast majority of nail salons, which pay above the minimum wage and hire only licensed manicurists. His piece specifically challenged the Times' claim that the Asian-language newspapers are "rife" with manicurist ads offering shockingly low wages. After Bernstein's story appeared, the Times' editors penned a public letter offering new evidence to support Nir's claim. Bernstein指责Nir在报道中只注意了该行业的一隅,忽视了大多数美甲沙龙,它们的薪酬高于最低工资,并且只录用拥持证美甲师。针对《时报》关于亚州语言报纸“充斥”着工资极低的美甲师招聘广告的说法,Bernstein在文章中还专门提出质疑。此文问世之后,《时报》编辑又撰写了一封公开信,提供新的证据支持Nir的说法。 As I'll explain, the Times editors mistranslated and misconstrued that new evidence, which actually validates Bernstein's argument. 下文我将解释,《时报》的编辑们对这一新证据的翻译和解释都有误,该证据实际上证实了Bernstein的论点。 Nir and her editors declined my interview requests. Instead, a Times spokesperson provided a prepared statement, asserting that the paper is "extremely proud" of the series and pointing to the high number of labor violations discovered by Cuomo's inspection task force since the series appeared. Nir及其编辑拒绝了我的采访请求。反倒是《时报》有个发言人提供了一份事先准备好的声明,坚持说该报为这两篇报道感到“非常骄傲”,并且援引了报道问世后由Cuomo的特别调查小组所发现的大量违法用工案例。 Those labor violations don't reveal what the Times claims they do. In its zeal to cite the government's ex post vindication of its own reporting, the paper further obfuscated what's really happening in the industry. 这些违法用工并不能展现《时报》认为它们所能展现的情况。通过热情征引政府在其报道之后所提供的事后证词,时报进一步模糊了这一行业中正在发生的实情。 My look at Nir's reporting and its shortcomings will appear in three installments. First, I'll revisit the Times' back-and-forth with Bernstein and explain why the paper's claim that manicurists are paid shockingly low wages is based on shoddy research and misconstrued evidence. 我对Nir报道及其缺陷的检查将分为三个部分呈现。首先,我要再次分析《时报》与Bernstein之间的交锋,并解释为什么说该报关于美甲师工资极低的断言只是基于劣质的调研和曲解的证据。 Next, I'll look at Cuomo's inspection task force, the fines and violations being handed out to salon owners, and how the governor's actions have had the unintended consequence of making it harder for undocumented immigrants to get jobs in nail salons. (That article is now online here.) 然后,我会考察Cuomo的特别调查小组、沙龙店主接到的罚款和违章,以及州长的行动如何产生了意料之外的后果,使得非法移民比之前更难在美甲沙龙找到工作。(第二弹在线阅读地址在这里。 ) The third installment will look at the Times' claim that chemicals present in nail salons are causing cancer and miscarriages, which is based on nonexistent evidence. (Click here to read part three.) 第三部分要考察的则是《时报》的一个说法:美甲沙龙中的化学物质正在导致癌症和流产。这一说法全无依据。(可通过以下链接阅读第三弹。) Job Ads "Paying So Little" They "Appear To Be a Typo" 招聘广告“工资极低”“还以为是印刷错误”。 In an early paragraph in the Times' first story in the nail salon series, we read: 在《时报》关于美甲沙龙的系列文章第一篇中,我们在前面几段中可以读到以下说法:
Asian-language newspapers are rife with classified ads listing manicurist jobs paying so little the daily wage can at first glance appear to be a typo. Ads in Chinese in both Sing Tao Daily and World Journal for NYC Nail Spa, a second-story salon on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, advertised a starting wage of $10 a day. The rate was confirmed by several workers. “亚洲语言报纸充满了列有美甲师招聘的分类广告,日薪极低,初看起来还以为是印刷错误。“NYC美甲Spa”是曼哈顿上西区一家位于二楼的沙龙,在《星岛日报》和《世界日报》上的中文广告中给出的起薪是10美元一天。好几位工人证实确为这一价格。”
Richard Bernstein, who rightly called this paragraph a "linchpin" of Nir's first article, was incredulous that anyone would advertise a day wage of $10 given that his wife must guarantee wages of about ten times that to attract qualified applicants. So he went looking through the classifieds in back issues of the Chinese-language newspaper, The World Journal, and couldn't find a single ad that mentioned wages under $70 per day. He found one ad offering to pay between $110 and $130 per day. Richard Bernstein极为正确地把这一段叫做Nir首篇文章的“要害之处”。他不相信有任何人会在广告中登出日薪10美元的工资,因为他的妻子必须保证提供大约10倍左右的工资才能吸引到合格的应聘者。所以他就去翻阅《世界日报》这份中文报纸过刊中的分类广告,结果没能找到任何一个广告所提工资低于70美元一天。其中一份广告甚至愿意支付110到130美元的日薪。 Other than the $10 ad that Nir references—which I'll return to in a moment—Nir doesn't cite any other specific ads paying wages so low they "appear to be a typo." But after Bernstein highlighted this passage in The New York Review of Books, Times editors Dean Baquet, Wendell Jamieson, and Michael Luo co-signed a letter defending Nir's reporting. Nir除了提到这一10美元广告之外(下文会再来讨论这个问题),并没有引用过任何其他工资极低以至于让人“以为是印刷错误”的特定广告。但在Bernstein在《纽约书评》上突出强调了这一段之后,《时报》的编辑Dean Baquet, Wendell Jamieson和Michael Luo一起签署了一封公开信,捍卫Nir的报道。 Their letter cites three more ads to support Nir's claim: 这封信又提到另外三份广告,以支撑Nir的说法:
One [ad] from June 19, 2014, in the World Journal, for example, showed a starting wage of $40 a day for "small job"…Another ad from July 17, 2014 in The World Journal also showed a $40 a day wage. And another one from April 17, 2014 showed a pay range of $40 to $90 a day. These examples were taken from a random sampling of days. “比如,在《世界日报》2014年6月19日的一份广告里,一份‘小工作’的起薪是40美元每天……《世界日报》2014年7月17日的另外一份广告,也开出了40美元的日薪。另外一份2014年4月17日的,则提到日薪在40美元至90美元之间。这些例子只是我们从随机选择的日子里看到的。”
The Times editors also posted high-resolution copies of the three ads to the photo-sharing site Flickr, but, somewhat suspiciously, the Chinese characters are out of focus and my translator couldn't decipher them. So I went to The World Journal's headquarters in Queens and obtained new copies of the ads, which I've posted here. 《时报》编辑还把这三份广告的高清复印件放到了图片分享网站Flicker上面,但有些可疑的是,上面的中文却没有对好焦,我的翻译都看不清。所以我去了《世界日报》位于皇后区的总部,找到了这些广告的新拷贝,将它们贴在这里。 The ads don't say what the Times editors claim they do. Two of the ads they cite actually say that a mani/pedi costs $40 at the salon, not that a worker would be paid $40. Why include such a detail in a job ad? It implies big tips. 这些广告并没有表达《时报》编辑宣称它们所表达的那层意思。他们所提到的广告中,其中有两份实际说的是在沙龙中做一次指甲/趾甲全套需花费40美元,而不是说工人工资是40美元。为什么广告中要提到这种细节?因为它意味着小费很高。 The first one translates as: "UV gel, big jobs, experienced small jobs, and cosmeticians. Flushing pickup and drop-off. Mani/Pedi $40 with commission, good percentage tips, may file taxes." 第一份广告翻译如下:“UV胶、大工、熟手小工兼美容。法拉盛接送。手脚$40,多提成。好小费。可报税。” The second one reads: "Seeking UV gel experienced big jobs, small jobs, and cosmeticians. Pickup and drop-off at Flushing, Mani/Pedi $40 or more, expensive jobs." 第二份广告说的是:“请UV大工,经验小工,兼美容。开车,法拉盛接送。手脚$40,多大脚。” 40ad Both ads were posted by Michael Ling, the owner of a nail salon in Fairfield, Connecticut. (The World Journal is a regional paper). In an interview conducted through a translator, Ling confirmed that what the ad said is correct. He included the price of a mani/pedi to entice potential employees by indicating that the store serves a wealthy, and likely generous, clientele. 登广告的是Michael Ling,他是康涅狄格州费尔菲尔德一家美甲沙龙的店主(《世界日报》是一家区域性报纸)。在有翻译在场的采访中,Ling确认广告所言没错。他将做指甲/趾甲全套的价格写进去是为了表示店里服务的都是富裕且可能很慷慨的客户,以吸引潜在雇员。 The third ad the Times editors produced in response to Bernstein offers a wage of "$40-90." I interviewed the salon owner who posted that ad, David Lee. His shop went out of business in 2014, in part, he says, because he struggled to attract enough qualified manicurists. Lee says he was offering full-time workers a base salary of $90 per day and part-time workers $40 per day. 《时报》编辑为回应Bernstein而找出的第三份广告提供的工资是“40至90美元”。我采访了刊登这一广告的沙龙店主David Lee。他的沙龙已经于2014年停业,据他所说,部分的是因为他奋力想要吸引足够的合格美甲师。Lee说他给全职员工支付的底薪是每天90美元,而兼职工则是每天40美元。 The $10 Ad 日薪10美元的广告 The only remaining evidence that the Asian-language newspapers are "rife" with ads listing "jobs paying so little the daily wage can at first glance appear to be a typo" is the $10 ad Nir specifically referenced. 亚洲语言报纸“充斥”着“日薪极低,初看起来还以为是印刷错误”的广告,这种说法现在只剩下唯一的证据了,那就是Nir特别提到的日薪10美元的广告。 "[I]t’s not clear whether the reporter saw the ad at all," Richard Bernstein wrote in the New York Review of Books. “完全不知道记者有没有看到这份广告。”Richard Bernstein在《纽约书评》上如是说。 It turns out Nir did see the ad, but once again it doesn't say what the Times claimed it does. The day Bernstein's article appeared, Nir posted an image of the ad to Twitter: 结果是,Nir确实看过这份广告,但这里也一样,这份广告并没有表达《时报》宣称它所表达的意思。Bernstein的文章出来的当天,Nir就在Twitter上贴出了这份广告的图像: CKy_g1TUMAALDjACKzcWrzUMAEBFhr
The ad that "doesn't exist" according to @R_Bernstein & @nybooks who calls me a liar & didn't bother to interview me — Sarah Nir (@SarahMaslinNir) July 25, 2015 @R_Bernstein和@nybooks 宣称这份广告“并不存在”,说我是骗子,却不愿意费心采访一下我 —— Sarah Nir (@SaraMaslinNir)2015年7月25日
That ad (Nir later tweeted a magnified version) actually offers to pay manicurists $75 per day in base pay; under that, it notes that "apprentices," or "trainees," can earn $10 per day. What does it mean to be a "trainee?" Was Nir wrong to leave that detail out? 这份广告(Nir后来曾在Twitter上贴出其放大版)实际上给美甲师开出的底薪是每天75美元;后面则提到“学徒”或“实习工”每天可以赚到10美元。“实习工”是什么意思?Nir对这一细节的忽略有错吗? "Lest there be confusion...these are not the equivalent of unpaid summer interns at a magazine," wrote the Times editors in their defense of Nir's reporting. "Interviews by Ms. Nir and her team with employees of the salon confirmed that these were essentially beginning workers, doing the same jobs as others in the salon," they wrote. “不要误解……他们跟没有薪酬的杂志暑期实习生并不一样”,《时报》编辑在他们为Nir报道的辩护中如此写道。他们还说,“Nir小姐及其团队经与沙龙雇员交谈证实,实习工本质上就是新手,在沙龙里做的事与其他人没有什么不同。” But the salon owner who posted the ad disputes the Times’ characterization—as does one former apprentice who answered that $10 ad back in 2014. 但是,刊登这一广告的沙龙店主可不同意《时报》的描述。同样,一位在2014年曾答复过这份日薪10美元广告的前学徒工也不同意。 "We would never let them touch customers," said Yun Jun Long, the former owner of NYC Nail Spa, in an interview conducted through a translator. "If the customer is spending money, you can't stick them with an inexperienced worker." (Long's salon went out of business a month after the Times' story appeared, which he attributes to the negative publicity. He's now helping to organize the recent protests.) “我们绝不会让他们接触顾客”,“NYC美甲Spa”的前店主Yun Jun Long在有翻译在场的一次采访中如是说。“如果顾客花了钱,你不能让一个没有经验的员工去应付他们。”Long的沙龙在《时报》报道出来一个月之后停业了,他认为原因就是负面名声。他现在正帮忙组织近期的抗议活动。 The $10, he says, was meant to cover subway fare and lunch, and those who signed on could come and go as they pleased. During slow periods they could practice on other employees or receive lessons from Long's wife and mother-in-law—partners in the business who also worked in the store. 他还说,广告里提到的10美元只是为了提供地铁票和午餐,并且受雇的人来去自如。如果店里不忙,他们就可以在其他员工身上做练习,或者跟着Long的妻子和岳母(都是Long的生意合伙人,同时也在店里工作)学习。 At my request, Long put me in touch with Jay, a 28-year old undocumented immigrant and former trainee at NYC Nail Spa who asked that I not include his full name. Through a translator, Jay confirmed that he never worked on a customer for the two weeks when he was making just $10 per day. 应我的请求,Long帮我联系上了Jay。Jay是个28岁的无证移民,曾在“NYC美甲Spa”当过实习工。他要求我不提及其全名。通过翻译,Jay向我证实,在每天只赚取10美元的两个星期中,他从没有给任何顾客做过美甲。 Nir has said on Twitter that she visited NYC Nail Spa six times. (Long recalls seeing her come into the store just once.) Even if that's true, it wouldn't be surprising if she misreported what was actually going on in the shop; at several points in her coverage, Nir muddled what apprenticeship programs of this sort are all about. Nir在Twitter上曾说,她到“NYC美甲Spa”访问过6次(而Long记得她只到过店里1次)。即便这是真的,她对店里的真实情况的报道会出错,也并不令人生奇;在报道中的数个地方,她都没有搞清这种学徒计划到底是什么意思。 The main character in the first installment of the series was a 20-year-old Chinese immigrant named Jing Ren, who also went through an apprenticeship program. Without any prior experience doing nails, she got a job working unpaid for her first three months. Ren was also initially asked to pay $100 to the owner of her salon for teaching her basic skills. 在这个系列报道的第一部分中,主要人物是一个20岁的中国移民,名叫任静。任静也参加过学徒计划。在此前没有任何美甲经验的情况下,她找到了一份工作,头三个月没有工资。一开始,她还被要求向她所在沙龙的店主支付100美元,因为后者要教她基本技能。 Times readers may find this practice reprehensible, but Nir left out background details that might lessen their outrage. These apprentice programs are an alternative to going through one of the New York State-certified nail training programs, where tuition is about $1,000 and students must complete 250 hours of formal training before getting licensed. 《时报》的读者可能觉得这种做法应该谴责。但是Nir在此略去了一些背景细节,而这些细节有可能能够缓解读者的愤慨。如果不参加这种学徒计划,你就得全程参加由纽约州批准的美甲培训计划之一,费用大约1000美元,而学员必须在完成250小时的正式培训之后,才能得到执照。 It was technically illegal to work as a manicurist without completing one of these training programs when Nir was doing her reporting. (In July, two months after the Times series appeared, the state passed a bill creating a legal pathway to learn on the job, which I'll discuss in the next installment in this series.) 在Nir进行报道的时候,如果没有完成任何一个此类培训计划就去做美甲师,严格来说是非法的。(7月份,也就是《时报》的系列报道面世两个月之后,纽约州通过了一项法律,为边做边学提供了合法通道。关于这一点,我将在第二弹中加以讨论。) This type of arrangement is by no means an industry norm, but some salon owners flouted the law because they had more customers than employees; generally, the demand for skilled labor outpaces the number of licensed manicurists the beauty schools can mint. They got away with it because enforcement was lax. 这种办法绝非行业通例,一些沙龙店主对这一法律并不以为然,因为他们的顾客比雇员要多。一般来说,对熟练劳工的需求会超过美容学校能够生产生的持证美甲师的数量。店主们之所以能够铤而走险,是因为执法并不严格。 Like Jay, Jing Ren had the option of spending about a month and a half studying at a state-certified school and paying $1,000 to learn her craft. Instead, she opted to pay $100 and work for no pay for three months. It’s not clear that Nir ever asked Ren why she made that choice. 任静跟Jay一样,本可以选择去一个由州政府批准的学校学习这门技术,所费时间大约是一个半月,而价格则是1000美元。不过,她选择的是花费100美元,不领工资上班3个月。我们不清楚Nir是否追问她做出这种选择的理由。 Jay, who was in debt when he started as a trainee at NYC Nail Spa, couldn't afford beauty school. The apprenticeship program worked out for him: Now he's employed as a manicurist at a salon in New Jersey, where his daily base pay is $90, not including tips. Jay刚开始在“NYC美甲Spa”做实习工时已经负债累累,无法支付美容学校的费用。学徒计划对他很有帮助。他如今在新泽西的一家美甲店里被聘为美甲师,每天的底薪是90美元,此外还有小费。 The apprenticeship program also worked out for Jing Ren, who by the end of the Times story was making $65 a day in base compensation. 学徒计划对任静也很有帮助,在《时报》报道的结尾,她的底薪已经是每天65美元了。 Are Apprenticeship Programs Prevalent in the Nail Industry? 美甲行业中学徒制很流行吗? Nir declares that "[Jing Ren's] deal was the same as it is for beginning manicurists in almost any salon in the New York area." (Italics mine.) Nir宣称,“在纽约地区几乎所有沙龙中,刚刚入行的美甲师都需要经历类似任静的这种交易。”(斜体为本文所加。) Yet she provides no proof for this statement, and all the available evidence indicates that Ren's deal was unusual. There are 30,610 licensed manicurists in New York State, all of whom would have had no need for an apprenticeship program. According to the Korean-American Nail Salon Association, there are more than 7,000 shops. 但她没有为这一断言提供任何证据,而所有可以找到的证据都表明,任静所做的交易并不寻常。纽约州有30610位持证美甲师,他们就无需学徒计划。根据“韩裔美国人美甲沙龙协会”的信息,美甲店超过7000家。 Nir supports this claim with anecdotal examples, including a disputed paragraph about a shop called May's Nail Salon, located on 14th Street: Nir为这一说法提供的支撑都是些道听途说的个例,其中有一段涉及位于十四街一家叫做“小梅美甲沙龙”的,就很有争议:
Step into the prim confines of almost any salon and workers paid astonishingly low wages can be readily found. At May's…new employees must pay $100, then work unpaid for several weeks, before they are started at $30 or $40 a day, according to a worker. A man who identified himself as the owner, but would give his name only as Greg, said the salon did not charge employees for their jobs, but would not say how much they are paid. 走进几乎任何一家沙龙的整洁隔间,很容易就能找到工资低得惊人的员工。在小梅美甲店,一个员工说,新员工要先交100美元,接下来需要免费工作几周,然后才开始日薪30-40美元的工作。一个自称店主的男人只愿意透露自己叫Greg,他说他们不要求员工交钱换工作,但拒绝透露员工工资。
The owner of May's Nail Salon is actually a woman named Bao Mei Fitzgibbons, who goes by "Mei." Greg, who Nir mistook as the owner, is an employee at the shop. Nir could easily have found Fitzgibbons' name by searching New York State's online corporation and business entity database. 小梅美甲店的店主实际上是个女的,叫做Bao Mei Fitzgibbons,大家管她叫“梅”。而被Nir误认为店主的Greg则是店里的一个雇员。如果Nir搜索一下纽约州的“公司与企业单位在线数据库”,她就能轻松找到Fitzgibbons的名字。 Fitzgibbons says she was never interviewed by Nir, and scoffed when I asked if she charges new employees $100. "Think about it," Fitzgibbons says, "you work for me and I charge you $100?" The framed licenses of Fitzgibbons' employees are prominently displayed on the wall of her shop, indicating that they went through the official, state-authorized training program. Fitzgibbons说Nir从来没有采访过她,当我问她是不是向新员工收取100美元时,她连连冷笑。“你想想嘛”,她说:“你为我工作,然后我收你100美元?”Fitzgibbons把雇员们的执照装裱好,显眼地挂在门店的墙上,以表明他们都完整接受过正式的、经州政府认可的培训计划。 Fitzgibbons says she observed Nir come into her store and engage one of her manicurists in conversation without a translator. According to Fitzgibbons, the woman, who barely speaks English, later said that she was misquoted in the Times. The manicurist says she told Nir—again according to Fitzgibbons—that there are salons out there that charge trainees $100; she didn't say that May's is one of them. Fitzgibbons说她注意到Nir进了她的店子,并与她的美甲师之一进行了交谈,当时没有翻译。Fitzgibbons还说,被采访的女性基本不会说英语,后来还表示《时报》错误引用了她的话。这位美甲师说(这里还是根据Fitzgibbons的说法),她告诉Nir的是,有些沙龙会向实习工收取100美元,她没说梅的店也是如此。 (On my behalf, Fitzgibbons reached out to the manicurist interviewed by Nir, who no longer works at the store. Fitzgibbons says the woman declined my interview request on the grounds that "she doesn't want publicity.") (Nir采访过的这位美甲师现已不再在Fitzgibbons的店里工作。应我的请求,Fitzgibbons联系了她。Fitzgibbons说她拒绝了我的采访请求,原因是“她不想曝光”。) In another case, Nir spent time reporting at a salon that hires only licensed manicurists trained at a beauty school but left it out of her coverage. 另外,Nir还曾花费时间在一家只雇佣受过美容学校培训的持证美甲师的沙龙里采访,但在文章中却没有提及。 ThinkPink is a small chain of nail salons in Manhattan run by Eun Hye Lee (she goes by "Grace"), who says she was interviewed by Nir. Lee, who is careful to maintain her books to the letter of the law, granted my request to inspect her payroll records. They showed that one experienced manicurist at ThinkPink's West Village branch had earned $680 in base pay, plus $216 in overtime, totaling $896 for a 48.5 hour week. A beginning manicurist in the same shop earned $493 for a 39-hour workweek, or $12.64 per hour. ThinkPink是曼哈顿一家小型美甲连锁店,经营者叫做Eun Hye Lee(人们叫她Grace)。她表示曾接受过Nir的采访。Lee恪守法律条文的规定,很仔细地记有账本,并惠允我查阅她的薪酬发放记录。记录表明,一个在ThinkPink西村分店工作的熟练美甲师,某星期工作48.5小时,赚到底薪680美元,另外还有216美元加班费,共896美元。在同一门店,某位刚入行的美甲师某周工作39小时,赚得493美元,每小时合12.64美元。 Lee says Nir first interviewed her at ThinkPink in 2014. Several months later, she returned unannounced and asked for a pedicure. She struck up a conversation with her manicurist, a Chinese immigrant named Xiao Su, who goes by Zoey. Lee说Nir第一次采访她是在2014年,在ThinkPink店里。几个月后,Nir没打招呼就来到店里,请人给她修脚。之后她就和美甲师谈了起来,她的美甲师是位来自中国的移民,叫做小苏,大家都叫她Zoey。 Lee put me in touch with Su, who no longer works at ThinkPink. She said in a phone interview that she told Nir that the pay at ThinkPink was "very good" and that Lee was a good boss who's always "very nice." She declined to tell Nir her salary, deeming it a rude question. Su, who emigrated from China in 1997, is a licensed technician who attended manicurists' school. Lee帮我联系上了小苏,她如今已不在ThinkPink工作。她在电话采访中说,她告诉过Nir,ThinkPink的薪酬“很可观”,而且Lee是个好老板,总是“特别友善”。她拒绝向Nir告知自己的薪水,认为这种追问是失礼。小苏1997年从中国移民到美,上过美甲师学校,是位持证技师。 Neither ThinkPink, nor Nir's interview with Lee, were mentioned in the Times' coverage. 关于ThinkPink以及Nir对Lee的采访,《时报》的报道均没有提及。 More Evidence of Low Wages? 更多低薪证据? To gauge the average pay for manicurists, Nir might have turned first to the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The agency reported that in 2014, manicurists in New York's metropolitan area earned an average hourly wage of $9.19 per hour. It also reports an annual mean wage of $19,110. 要估计美甲师的平均薪酬,Nir本该首先求助联邦劳工统计局(BLS)。根据该局2014年报告,纽约大都市区范围内的美甲师赚取的平均时薪是9.19美元。报告里还提到,他们的平均年薪为19110美元。 BLS data, which is routinely cited in the Times, is subject to error and certainly overly precise. But in this case, these figures are the best information available. And the numbers indicate that the average manicurist earns above the minimum wage. BLS的数据经常被《时报》引用,当然包含有错漏之处,有时则显得过分精确。但就当前争论而言,这些数据是我们可以拿到的最可靠信息。数据表明,美甲师的工资平均而言高于最低工资。 Instead of citing the BLS' numbers, however, Nir relied on her own survey that included "more than 100 workers." In fact, other than the classified ads, this is her main piece of evidence that the "vast majority" of salon workers earn less than the minimum wage. 但是,Nir却没有引用BLS的数据,而是依靠自己针对“超过100位工人”的调查。事实上,“绝大部分”美甲店员工工资低于最低工资这一说法的主要证据,除了分类广告之外,就是她的这一调查了。 Nir collected the data on the streets of Queens early in the morning, where salon owners (mostly from Long Island) often pick up manicurists in vans and drive them to work, and in chats that she struck up with manicurists (many of whom aren't native English speakers) while having her nails done. Nir是在清晨的皇后区大街上收集到这些数据的,那正是沙龙店主(主要来自长岛)用面包车来接美甲师并把他们送到工作地点的时候,也有一些是在做指甲时通过和她的美甲师(其中大多数人母语非英语)交谈获得的。 In an interview with the Times about her series after it appeared, Nir says she kept "detailed spreadsheets" with this information. I asked for a copy of these spreadsheets. She declined my request. 在系列文章面世之后接受《时报》采访时,Nir说她保存有这些信息的“详细表格”。我曾问她索要一份,遭到了她的拒绝。 Gathering data of this sort is inherently difficult, even for professionals. Pollsters at organizations like Gallup, Pew, and BLS strive to reach population samples that mirror the broader communities they're studying. They carefully frame questions in an unbiased manner, and only impartial interviewers do the asking. Under the best of circumstances, figures derived with these methods are imprecise and reporters generally cite them along with a margin of error. 即便对于专家,此类数据收集工作也有着内在的困难。在盖洛普、皮尤和BLS等组织工作的民意测验专家都要辛苦奔忙,以使自己的人口样本能够反映他们所研究的更大群体。他们以一种无偏的方式小心设计问题,而且只找不带偏见的访谈者来提问。在最好的情况下,以这种方法得到的数据都并不精确,记者在引用它们的时候通常也会附带些许错误。 Economists are skeptical of the wage survey data collected by the BLS because it's based on trust and memory. (How many hours did you work last week?) The gold standard in wage data—reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis—is derived from documentation that companies are required to provide the government related to unemployment insurance. 经济学家并不太相信BLS收集的工资调查数据,因为这项调查基于信任和记忆。(比如,请问你上周工作了多长时间?)工资数据的优质标准是联邦经济分析局的报告,它来自于各公司按要求提供的与失业保险有关的文件。 The Times might have hired a polling firm to improve on the BLS' finding. Instead, it relied on Nir's survey, which was drawn from a non-representative sample and carried out by a reporter who won't share her methodology, question phrasing, or tabulated results. There’s simply no reason to believe that Nir’s data presents an accurate, representative picture of nail industry wages. 《时报》本来可以请一家调查公司来改进BLS的发现。不过,它选择依靠Nir的调查,而该调查的抽样并不具备代表性,而负责实施的记者又不愿意公开其方法、提问措辞或调查结果表格。我们没法相信Nir的数据呈现出了美甲行业工资的准确且有代表性的图景。 Also, Nir’s report doesn’t discuss gratuities. In fact, nowhere does the Times coverage attempt to gauge average daily tips in the industry or what workers actually take home in total compensation. 另外,Nir的报告还没有提及小费。事实上,《时报》的报道没有一处地方试图估计一下美甲行业的日均小费是多少,或者员工们拿到手的总报酬是多少。 This is like writing a 7,000-word piece on what waiters make for a living but focusing only on base compensation. "There should have been several paragraphs on the subject," says Aiming Feng, the accountant and business consultant who counts about 50 nail salons as clients. (Feng also volunteers once a week at once a week at the Lin Sing Association, a social service organization in Manhattan's Chinatown, where he helps manicurists with legal and tax issues.) 这就像是写篇7000字的文章描述餐厅服务员们以何为生,却只关注他们的底薪。“应该花几个段落讨论下这个问题”,Aiming Feng说,他是一位会计兼商业顾问,大概有50家美甲沙龙是他的客户。(Feng也是曼哈顿唐人街一家叫做“Lin Sing协会”的社会服务组织的志愿者,他每周服务一次,帮助美甲师们解决法律和税务问题。) Feng says that during "sandal season" at many shops tips equal or exceed base compensation. Feng说,一到“凉鞋季”,许多店里的小费能够追平甚至超过底薪。 Another "Damning" Piece of Evidence? 另一条“确凿” 罪证? Nir offers more proof that the "vast majority" of manicurists earn less than the minimum wage: a two-sentence summary quote derived from an interview with Sangho Lee, the president of the Korean-American Nail Salon Association. 关于“绝大多数”美甲师工资低于最低工资,Nir有更多证据:一条两句话的总结,引用来自她对Sangho Lee的采访。Lee是“韩裔美国人美甲沙龙协会”的主席。 Nir writes: Nir写道:
[Lee] declined a request to address issues of underpayment. So many owners do not pay minimum wage, he said, that he believed answering any questions would hurt the industry. “Lee拒绝回应我关于报酬过低问题的提问。他说,许多店主支付不到最低工资,所以他觉得回答此类问题会伤害到整个行业。”
In their letter defending Nir's reporting, the Times editors highlighted Lee's testimony as among "the most damning findings." 在为Nir的报道辩护的公开信中,《时报》的编辑们强调,Lee的证词是“罪证确凿的发现”之一。 These two sentences came from the roughly two-and-a-half hours Nir spent interviewing Lee on two occasions. First, she met with him in person at the Association's office in Flushing, Queens with a Korean translator named Jiha Ham present. She later did a follow-up interview over the phone without a translator. According to Lee, Nir's paraphrase of his statement comes from the second interview. 这两句话来自于Nir对Lee的采访,两次采访总长大概有两个半小时。第一次,她亲自去皇后区法拉盛该协会的办公室拜访Lee,当时有一位韩国翻译Jiha Ham在场。后来,她又在电话里做了一次跟踪访谈,这次没带翻译。根据Lee的说法,Nir转述的他的言论发生于第二次访谈。 Lee says that he was misquoted. "I told her that like any industry, there are nail salons that pay less and have worse conditions," he said. "Then I told her that even though 80 to 90 percent of the industry pays much more than the minimum wage, it would inappropriate for me to say anything negative about the industry as the president of the leading industry association." Lee说他遭到了错误引用。“我告诉她的是,跟许多行业一样,也有些美甲沙龙存在薪酬较低、条件恶劣的情况”,他说,“然而,我还告诉她,尽管行业中有80%到90%的薪酬水平远高于最低工资,让我发表关于这一行业的负面看法也是不恰当的,因为我是一个十分重要的行业协会的主席。” Is Lee telling the truth that Nir distorted his comments? Since there were no third-party witnesses to the conversation, there's no way to know. But it's hard to believe that Lee would disparage the nail salon industry. Lee有关Nir曲解了他的言论的说法是否真实?由于谈话时并没有第三方见证人在场,我们不得而知。但我们很难相信Lee会诋毁整个美甲行业。 Founded 28 years ago, the Korean-American Nail Salon Association's mission is to promote best practices in the industry. It has 1,200 dues-paying member stores. A thick glossy magazine published annually by the Association includes letters from elected officials lauding nail salons for their contribution to the local economy. The group also awards an annual $1,000 scholarship to six college students whose parents work as manicurists in its members' shops. 成立于28年之前的韩裔美国人美甲沙龙协会致力于在整个行业中推广最好的做法。它拥有1200家缴纳会费的成员店。协会每年出版一份厚厚的有光纸杂志,上面还刊登有经选举上任的官员因美甲沙龙对地方经济作出贡献而撰写的表扬信。该团体每年还给父母为成员门店美甲师的6位大学生提供各1000美元的奖学金。 So why would the president of an industry organization undo decades of hard public relations work by making a "damning" statement to a Times reporter? Maybe Nir misconstrued his remarks: Lee barely speaks English, and yet Nir interviewed him over the phone without a translator on the line. 因此,为什么一位行业组织主席会破坏几十年来的公共关系辛苦成果,向《时报》记者提供这种“罪证确凿”的陈述呢?也许Nir误会了他的说法。Lee的英语非常不好,而Nir却不请翻译就通过电话采访了他。 How the Times Responded to a Salon Owner's Attempt to Correct the Record 当沙龙店主试图更正记载时,《时报》是如何回应的呢 Nir writes that at Iris Nails on Manhattan's Upper East Side "longtime workers described starting out at wages of $30 and $40 a day." Nir写道,在位于曼哈顿上东区的“艾丽斯美甲”店,“长期工人说他们的起步工资是每天30或40美元。” It's hard to believe that even beginning manicurists at Iris Nails would earn such meager pay. Located in one of New York City's wealthiest neighborhoods, Iris is the type of shop manicurists aspire to work at for the generous tips. 即便是艾丽斯美甲店里的美甲师新手拿到这么低的工资,那也很难令人置信。艾丽斯开在纽约市最富有的街区之一,是所有美甲师都渴望去工作的地方,因为小费很慷慨。 When reporting the story, Nir left a message for Iris Nails' owner, a Korean immigrant named Alex Park. He says he didn't return her message because he didn't understand the nature of the request. 在报道这一故事的时候,Nir给艾丽斯美甲的店主留了一则消息。这位名叫Alex Park的韩国移民说,他并没有回复,因为他没搞明白Nir的请求是什么意思。 When Park attempted to defend his reputation after the article appeared, the Times thwarted his efforts. The whole episode highlights the power imbalance between the Times and an immigrant community lacking in media savvy. 文章出来以后,Park试图捍卫自己的名声,而《时报》挫败了这一企图。整个剧情凸显了《时报》与缺乏媒体经验的移民群体之间的权力不平衡。 Park emphatically denies that his workers earn so little in base pay. He estimates that his lowest-level employees earn about $180 a day, including tips, and his most experienced employees can earn as much as $400 per day including tips and commission. (Park declined to allow me to examine his wage statements.) Park断然否认他的员工所赚取的底薪如此之低。据他估计,最底层的雇员每天大约能挣到180美元,其中包含小费,而最熟练的雇员最多时每天能挣到400美元,其中包括小费和提成。(Park拒绝让我查看他的工资详单。) After the article appeared, Park hired attorney Daniel Kim to contact the Times and demand a correction. Kim had a back and forth with the company's assistant general counsel, David McCraw. (Through a spokesperson, McGraw declined my request for an interview.) The paper refused to alter the online version of the article, and it didn't investigate the truthfulness of Park's claim. Instead, Kim says, McCraw agreed that the Times would print a letter to the editor written by Park. 文章见报后,Park就聘请律师Daniel Kim联系纽约时报,要求进行更正。Kim和时报公司的助理法律总顾问David McCraw来来回回接触了多次。(McCraw通过发言人拒绝了我的采访请求)。时报拒绝更改文章的在线版本,也没有调查Park说法的真实性。作为替代,Kim说,McCraw同意在《时报》上刊登Park写给编辑的一封信。 Kim shared with me the letter Park submitted to Sue Mermelstein, an editor in the paper's letters department: Kim向我展示了Park写给时报读者来信部编辑Sue Mermelstein的信件:
To the Editor: 致编辑: Your recent article "The High Price of Pretty Nails" will damage my business, Iris Nails. It seems that you needed a nail salon in a well-heeled neighborhood and targeted my business. 你们最近刊发的“漂亮指尖的高昂代价”一文将会伤害我的企业,即艾丽斯美甲。你们似乎就是想找到这么一家位于富裕街区的美甲沙龙,然后瞄准了我的企业。 I am preparing to retire after having worked for more than 22 years without any incident. Many of the employees in this type of services business have learned, earned and moved on to open their own shops. I have always treated all of my employees fairly and never took advantage of them. 我工作22年了,从未发生任何事故,现在正准备退休。在这类服务性企业工作过的许多雇员都已经学到东西、赚到钱并且更进一步经营起他们自己的门店。在对待自己的员工方面,我从来都很公平,从未占过他们便宜。 There is no employee who receives $30 to $40 a day on a full-time basis. There is no employee who receives below the minimum wages required by the State of New York. In fact, most of our employees make double of minimum wages including tips. 根本就没有全职员工每天只能获得30到40美元的事。也没有任何员工拿到的工资低于纽约州规定的最低工资水平。事实上,把小费包含在内,我的大多数员工能赚到最低工资的两倍。 Korean-American business owners in New York are very hard-working people. We have dedicated our lives to whichever field afforded us an opportunity to prosper and live out the American dream. I write this letter with great sorrow and anger. 生活于纽约的韩裔美国人店主都很吃苦耐劳。只要某个领域能够给我们提供机会,让我们走向成功并实现美国梦,我们都会全身心地投入进去。写这封信的时候,我心中充满悲伤和愤怒。
The Times did print a version of the letter on May 17—but with notable changes. 《时报》5月17日确实刊登了此信件的一个版本,但改动颇大。 First, it cut out Park's assertion that the paper had erred in its reporting. These three sentences were dropped: 首先,它删除了Park认为该报之前报道出错的观点。删去的是以下三句话:
There is no employee who receives $30 to $40 a day on a full-time basis. There is no employee who receives below the minimum wages required by the State of New York. In fact, most of our employees make double of minimum wages including tips. 根本就没有全职员工每天只能获得30到40美元的事。也没有任何员工拿到的工资低于纽约州规定的最低工资水平。事实上,把小费包含在内,我的大多数员工能赚到最低工资的两倍。
In their place, the Times added a new sentence that reads, "I am committed to abiding by the law in paying my employees." In other words, the rewrite makes it sound as if Park was conceding that the Times' reporting on his store was not only correct, but that it inspired him to reform his illegal practices. 在这个地方,《时报》插入了一个新句子,内容是:“在支付员工工资方面,我决心遵从法律规定。”换句话说,这一改写让Park听起来像是在承认《时报》关于他的美甲店的报道很正确,不仅如此,他似乎还受此激励,准备改变之前的非法做法。 Times editor Sue Mermelstein said in a phone interview that there was an extensive back-and-forth with attorney McGraw over the wording of the letter. "We don't have the resources to go out and check the facts," she says, "and we didn't want to let him make a statement that we felt was inaccurate." 《时报》编辑Sue Mermelstein在接受电话采访时说,在该信件的措辞方面,曾与律师McGraw进行过大量的意见交换。“我们没有办法去检验事实”,她说,“而且我们也不想让他发表一个我们觉得并不准确的声明。” So they decided to cut out Park's contention that the coverage was inaccurate and replaced it with a line that McGraw "felt comfortable with because it's not a factual statement." 所以他们决定删除Park关于报道不真实的观点,并用McGraw“觉得舒坦”的一句话取而代之,因为“这句话不是在陈述事实。” The Times ran the new wording by Kim and Park, and they signed off on it. Attorney Kim doesn't recall the specific details, but says his client decided not to pursue the matter any further because he's "afraid of The New York Times." 《时报》把新的措辞发回Kim和Park征求意见,他们在上面签字了。律师Kim不再记得具体细节,但是他说,他的客户决定不再继续追究这一事件,因为他“害怕《纽约时报》”。 Did the Times Get the Story Right Anyway? 《时报》的故事究竟是对是错? Nir's claim that manicurists earn shockingly low wages was based on mistranslated and misconstrued classified ads, anecdotes and interviews contested by her sources, and an anecdotal survey that she used in place of official data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nir关于美甲师工资极低的说法,依据只有翻译错误和理解错误的分类广告、道听途说和遭到其信源反驳的采访,另外还有她弃劳工统计局官方数据不用而进行的一次业余调查。 Yet did she still get the story right? In response to Nir's critics, the Times has pointed to the high number of minimum wage violations reported by the state Department of Labor since the article appeared. 但是,她的故事仍然还是对的吗?在回应对Nir的批评时,《时报》又指出该文发表以后由州劳工部提供的违反最低工资法的超高案例数。 In the next piece in this series, I'll scrutinize those violations and explain why, in fact, they don't show what the Times claims. (That article is now online here.) 在本系列的下一篇中,我将仔细考察这些违法案例,并解释为什么它们事实上并没能证明《时报》的说法。(此文已经上线。) (编辑:辉格@whigzhou) *注:本译文未经原作者授权,本站对原文不持有也不主张任何权利,如果你恰好对原文拥有权益并希望我们移除相关内容,请私信联系,我们会立即作出响应。

——海德沙龙·翻译组,致力于将英文世界的好文章搬进中文世界——



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