New Report Finds Biased Coverage of Immigration at the New York Times
March 18, 2013
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
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
reporters confine their immigration coverage to a narrow, ideological frame. It can be found online at:
It notes, for example, that while the
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
, the first public editor at the
New York Times
. He wrote that when it comes to coverage of social issues, "if you think the
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
, likens the
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
lacrosse players in 2006.
In all three of those instances, Kammer writes, the
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
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 Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since its founding in 1985, the Center has pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.
CONTACT: Marguerite Telford
SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies