Improving Immigration News Coverage, A Blueprint for the Media

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In their new report “Reimagining Immigration News,” media and culture association Define American provides insight into media coverage of immigration issues in North Carolina and how it has shaped readers’ attitudes. with regard to the subject.

As the culmination of a year of research, the study focuses on the swing state with an immigrant population that has nearly doubled over the past two decades, using it as an indicator of trends in the broader news across the country.

He found that coverage of immigration in North Carolina is very piecemeal, leaving out the stories of large swaths of the population.

“Immigration is really complicated. A lot of newsrooms don’t really understand it and don’t have a basic understanding of asylum and what’s going on with the backlogs and the laws or the lack of laws that got us to the point where we we are right now,” says Liz Robbins, director of journalistic partnerships for the organization and former New York Times immigration reporter.

“If they don’t understand it, they can turn away from it.”

Gaps in current coverage: The pace of immigration is generally considered expendable, according to the report. The journalists assigned there are often early career reporters without the resources, skilled editors and institutional support of more experienced reporters or mainstream national media outlets.

Of North Carolina’s roughly 300 news outlets, only six reporters focused full-time on immigrant communities in 2021, and only three remained in 2022.

Meanwhile, the immigration stories that emerge focus on the same populations again and again. For example, while 28.5% of immigrants to North Carolina are Asian American and Pacific Islander, less than 5% of all media coverage focuses on this community.

“Immigration is really covered almost as a Latinx issue. A lot of communities are ignored,” Robbins explained.

Inclusion as a bargain: Access to language is a major barrier preventing more reporting, as is a real lack of resources to hire more manpower. To leverage their existing resources and find new audiences, Define American recommends that resource-strapped newsrooms partner with other news outlets, especially bilingual ones with strong community ties.

“The best collaborations that happen across North Carolina involve Spanish media working with English media to publish what’s happening in the community,” Robbins said. “You’re providing broader reach, gaining trust from the community for some of these legacy info ops, and you’re kind of starting to make amends with the community that’s been ignored.”

She added, “At the end of the day, it’s just good business to include all communities in your reports, not just the people you target with certain ads, because those might be followers.”

Read the full report here.

STORIES WE FOLLOW

New York

For asylum seekers seeking work in New York, desperation meets necessity: Banned from obtaining legal work permits for at least six months, many of the more than 21,000 recently arrived asylum seekers are struggling to find work under the table. – Gothamist

Hell’s Kitchen Asylum Resource Center lacks resources: A backlog of appointments is a symptom of an overstretched municipal system. – Gothamist

Another Hell’s Kitchen Hotel becomes a refuge for migrant families: City Hall abruptly announced a new sanctuary for asylum-seeking families at the Washington Jefferson Hotel, sending local social services into overdrive. –W42ST

(Opinion) New York Needs a Better Housing Discrimination Enforcement: A forum discusses the use of housing assistance checks in the face of record rents. -City limits

Around the United States

Sympathy changes at Texas waystation for undocumented: Local residents are exhausted from living with a constant stream of migrants passing through their city. -The Guardian

Lack of immigration threatens the country’s food supply: Farmers say they need migrant workers to run their farms and feed Americans. -USA Today

Immigrants clash in California’s congressional district: A congressional race between two immigrants, one from Pakistan and the other from South Korea, reflects the changing demographics of the American electorate. –Voice of America

The role of immigration in a competitive home race: In Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, a house race includes a candidate linking immigration to crime and drugs. -The Wall Street Journal

One in five Canadians is now an immigrant, and the nation approves: Although immigration has become increasingly divisive in many Western countries like the United States, polls indicate that most Canadians support it. -New York Times

washington d.c.

Biden administrator. takes action on marijuana justice reform: New pardons for simple federal convictions for marijuana possession are beginning to address the harm they cause to American communities of color, says Human Rights Watch. -Human Rights Watch

Lawyers say immigrants deported for cannabis were unfairly excluded from Biden’s pardon: Pardons did not cover undocumented immigrants who were deported after spending most of their lives working and living in the United States. –ABC News

Race, immigration and the right-wing backlash they trigger: The Public Religion Research Institute’s annual American Values ​​Survey reveals how attitudes toward immigration and right-wing politics overlap. –Washington Post

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