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Writing ImmigrationScholars and Journalists in Dialogue$
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Marcelo Suarez-Orozco

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520267176

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520267176.001.0001

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Some Observations about Immigration Journalism

Some Observations about Immigration Journalism

(p.73) 4 Some Observations about Immigration Journalism
Writing Immigration

Peter H. Schuck

University of California Press

The topic of immigration journalism is of the utmost interest and public importance but it is seldom, if ever, systematically examined. Bringing academics, policy analysts, and policymakers together with journalists who cover immigration is a splendid idea. This chapter opens with some observations about immigration law. It then turns to the handiwork of immigration journalists who write in two elite newspapers, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. It argues that immigration journalists are congenitally and perhaps professionally and ideologically drawn to individual stories, usually stories of incompetence or illegality by the immigration agency. By exposing the injustices “the little guy” suffers at the hand of a cold-hearted bureaucracy, journalists perform a tried-and-true public service. The chapter suggests that journalists should also strive to inform readers about the more systemic, less individualized effects of immigration and the challenges and trade-offs encompassed in immigration policy and control in a modern democracy.

Keywords:   New York Times, Wall Street Journal, immigration, journalism, immigration law, journalists, incompetence, illegality, injustices

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