IS THAT A FACT?
Are journalists getting the immigration story right?
Season 2 Episode 5
In this episode, we interview Dr. Reece Jones, chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall, for an overview of the most enduring false narratives that have shaped our public conversations about immigration.
We then speak to Roberto Suro, a professor of journalism and public policy and the associate director of the Price Center on Social Innovation at the University of Southern California. Suro helped us explore how the news media covers immigration and how that coverage helps shape people’s perception of the issue.
Bear with us during this episode. At times you maybe ask yourself, how does this relate to the news media. But remember this: to be a critical consumer of news and information about immigration, you need to have an understanding of the policies that have shaped immigrations in our country’s history.
On a previous episode, we explored the perception gap between Democrats and Republicans and of course the subject of immigration came up. It’s a subject we wanted to continue to look at because it’s a hot button issue that will only become more heated as climate change alters migration patterns around the world in the years to come. Immigration will shape the cultural makeup of the US, future voting patterns, and whether America, a country that many would say is made stronger by its immigrant population, can continue to gain strength through balanced immigration policies. But it’s also an issue rife with mis- and disinformation, false narratives, our theme for the season, some of which are even perpetuated in the news media and we wanted to dispel them by consulting experts armed with facts and lived experience.
Is that a fact? is brought to you by the nonpartisan, non-profit News Literacy Project. For more information, go to newslit.org.
- White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States from Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall, Reece Jones, 2021
- “‘Illegal, ‘undocumented,’ ‘unauthorized’: News media shift language on immigration“, Pew Research Center, 2013
- “‘illegal immigrant’ no more,” Associated Press, April 2, 2013
- “California Dreaming: The New Dynamism in Immigration Federalism and Opportunities for Inclusion in a Variegated Landscape,” Roberto Suro, August 8, 2018
- “We see all immigrants as either legal or illegal. Big mistake.” Roberto Suro, July 13, 2012
(Transcript coming soon)