Media Influence On Immigration

1677 Words7 Pages
Introduction In America, media overwhelmingly gives the perception that many immigrants are criminals, and focuses on immigration in a negative manner. This portrayal by the media shapes the American public’s perception of immigrants and crime. This media uses the idea of “if it bleeds, it leads,” which makes it mainly focus on negative stories in order to capture and keep an audience. This tends to portray immigrants and immigration in a negative light, even though Criminologists know from research that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than American born citizens. The media’s portrayal of immigration shapes the perception of American citizens, which, in turn, shapes immigration policy as the citizens place immigration issues at…show more content…
In this section, I will discuss the portrayal of immigration in United States magazines, television media, and the three tendencies of United States media in covering immigration in general.
Magazines and Newspapers
In his book, Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation, Leo R. Chavez (2001) discusses the way United States magazines reported on immigration from Mexico. The magazines studied in this book overwhelmingly depicted the United States-Mexico border as a war zone, and use buzz words such as invaders, at war, invasion, and so on to reinforce the us v. them mentality of the U.S. public (Chavez, 2001). These buzz words create a sense of moral panic in the public, as the immigrants are seen as a threat to our society (Welch,
…show more content…
media in covering immigration in his section of Migration, Public Opinion and Politics. Suro states that the U.S. media coverage of immigration is episodic, focused on illegality, and lacks context. Coverage of immigration is not consistent in U.S. media, as coverage spikes when a new immigration policy is introduced, or a major event centered on immigration occurs. Over time, the coverage fades out, and decreases greatly. U.S. media also focuses greatly on the illegal immigrants in the country, which gives the public the perception that immigrants in general are criminal, as the public greatly overestimates how many immigrants are in the country illegally due to the extreme coverage of illegal immigration. The U.S. media also lacks context when covering immigration. The media outlet picks and chooses what it wants its viewers/readers to know, which can greatly change the outlook of the news story (Suro, 2010). News outlets that are conservative will pick and choose so that the story depicts immigrants as criminal and/or dangerous, while liberal news outlets try to show the more positive side of
Open Document