Wednesday, March 20, 2013

All the News That Fits

Biased Coverage of Immigration at the New York Times

A new report by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that the New York Times's coverage of one of the most pressing social issues, U.S. immigration policy, is flawed by ideological bias that frames illegal immigrants as a vulnerable class to be protected against critics whose motivation is rooted in racism.

The report claims, “Thus conceived as a clash of noble strivers versus snarling nativists, illegal immigration at the Times is not subjected to the rigorous analysis of costs and benefits that, under basic rules of journalism, should be applied to any major issue of public policy.”

The complete report, All the News That Fits: Ideologically Skewed Coverage of Immigration at the New York Times, shows how Times reporters confine their immigration coverage to a narrow, ideological frame. It can be found online here.

It notes, for example, that while the Times' Nina Bernstein has done admirable investigative work in exposing abuse of illegal immigrants, “she appears incapable of acknowledging the accumulating costs imposed on society by the influx of millions of poor, poorly educated, and unskilled immigrants, many of them in the country illegally.”

The paper's coverage of immigration is an example of the problem identified by Daniel Okrent, the first public editor at the New York Times. He wrote that when it comes to coverage of social issues, “if you think the Times plays it down the middle … you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.”

The new report's author, former reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Jerry Kammer, likens the Times’s immigration coverage to notorious previous failures at the paper, including its work on the national savings and loan scandal in the 1980s, the defeat of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in 1990, and fabricated rape accusations against Duke lacrosse players in 2006.

In all three of those instances, Kammer writes, the Times’s coverage was so constricted by a rigid ideological frame that reporters suspended the skepticism and independent judgment that are essential to solid journalism.

Finding the same flaws in the Times immigration coverage, Kammer concludes that its failure “affects not only public opinion but also the work of reporters around the country who might otherwise look more deeply into a story of great complexity and profound consequences.”

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820,  Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076.  Email: Contact: Marguerite Telford, 202-466-8185,  The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

Recent posts at CIS  below

See  here for the blog.  The CIS main page is here


1. Sulzberger’s Voice: How Arthur Sulzburger Radicalized the New York Times Editorial Page on Immigration


2. Statement on Repealing the Maryland Highway Safety Act of 2013


3. More Birth-Tourism Births Than Indigenous Births in CNMI

4. We Should Remember the Bracero Program ... and Shudder

5. Natural Conservatives? Really?

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