Tag: media criticism

Immigration NewsImmigration ReformPodcast

Podcast: What’s In a Name? “Illegal” vs. “Undocumented” in Media Coverage of Immigration

The term “illegal immigrant” was spread across the media this week, as the Supreme Court heard arguments on Arizona’s immigration law. Some say the term is offensive and inaccurate.

Immigration News

Campaigns and Voters are Wired Like Never Before – Is that Good?

Any control that campaigns had over messaging is lost as we, a collective audience, “like,” upload, and review the best and the worst of politics through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Fi2W reporter Aswini Anburajan wrote this piece for our partner, WNYC’s It’s A Free Country.

Immigration NewsLatinoVideos

"Drop Lou Dobbs" – Online Campaign by Pro-Immigrant Forces Puts Pressure on CNN

One of several online campaigns against Lou Dobbs. (Image: Americas Voice)

One of several online campaigns against Lou Dobbs. (Image: America's Voice)

Hispanic and pro-immigrant activists are becoming increasingly vocal in their demand that CNN drop host Lou Dobbs. Dobbs has a history of supporting fringe conspiracy theories –like the so-called “birther” movement that questions whether President Obama was born in the U.S, and one that claimed immigrants were spreading leprosy in America.

The latest of several campaigns against Dobbs was launched yesterday. It targeted CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien, who has Hispanic roots and occasionally reports on Latino issues for the network. She has an upcoming special called “Latino in America” that will air next month.

“Tell Soledad O’Brien that CNN can’t have it both ways. CNN should not make money off of the fastest growing demographic in the U.S., Latinos, at the same time that it promotes the type of dangerous language that has led to increasing hate crimes against those very same Latinos,” said the campaign launched by an activist on Twitter.

This is just one of several initiatives on the web against Dobbs. Presente.org, a “national online advocacy organization,” launched BastaDobbs.com (Enough Dobbs). Miami-based activist group Democracia U.S.A. created another campaign, asking CNN to “to hold Mr. Dobbs to journalistic standards.” Monitoring organization Media Matters, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), America’s Voice and various other groups have put up DropDobbs.com, which aims to convince advertisers to pull their ads from Dobbs’ show.

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Immigration News

Influenza and Immigration: Keeping the “Anti-Immigrant Flu” Out of Newsrooms

A pro-Sheriff Arpaio demonstrator in Phoenix on Saturday. (Photo: Nick Oza)
A pro-Sheriff Arpaio demonstrator in Phoenix on Saturday. (Photo: Nick Oza)

PHOENIX, Arizona — Conservative talk-radio commentators were faster than a virus in spreading the idea that undocumented immigrants are a hazard to public health by bringing a new flu virus across the country’s “porous border.”

But one national media organization is trying to keep the anti-immigrant fervor out of newsrooms.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) called for the mainstream media to “resist the baseless blame of immigrants” in connection with the spread of influenza A-H1N1.

“This virus should not be characterized as a Mexican disease,” said Iván Román, NAHJ’s executive director. “We should also resist covering it in a way that furthers anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

Román pointed out that while there may be a temptation to link Mexican immigrants to the spread of the disease in the United States, it is necessary to keep in mind that this community is no more responsible for it than American spring-breakers traveling to Mexico.

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CommentaryImmigration NewsIndianNews

Best Picture? Slumdog Millionaire Sparks Heated Debate Among Indians About Their Country’s Image: News Analysis From FI2W

By Aswini Anburajan, Feet in Two Worlds reporter

It was easier with Gandhi. Now that’s a movie a country and its people can love, wrap their arms around, and shout praise to. Love, peace, and Satyagraha (nonviolent resistance) — they roll off the tongue with an easy lilt that represents the best of what India has to offer.

Not the case with Slumdog Millionaire. There’s the ambiguity. What does it mean? There’s the connotation. The only other compound word that begins with “slum” and easily comes to mind is slumlord. It doesn’t quite inspire you to go out and change the world.

A scene from Slumdog Millionaire

On the surface it appears that India is celebrating the success of Slumdog Millionaire, the unlikely independent, low-budget film that swept the Oscars. Thousands crowded the airport in Mumbai to greet the cast upon their return from the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. The evening news in the U.S. beamed back images of the film’s youngest stars riding the shoulders of the crowd, their small hands clutching golden statuettes to shouts of “Jai Ho,” the title of A.R. Rahman’s Oscar-winning song from the movie.

But the post-Oscar celebrations and the Western embrace of Slumdog Millionaire mask a heated debate over the movie among Indians around the world.

Listserves for Indian American groups, such as the South Asian Women’s Collective in New York and South Asian Sisters in San Francisco, are brimming with comments about the film and links to blogs written by amateur and professional writers who either praise or condemn the film’s depictions of corruption and poverty. The South Asian Journalist Association (SAJA) has held four webcasts to date to discuss the implications of the movie and the heated controversy it has generated. Rediff.com, the largest Indian news website, has an entire page dedicated to international coverage of Slumdog.

The arguments range from the right to tell the story – India seen at its worst through British eyes doesn’t help the film’s cause – to charges that the film’s producers and British director Danny Boyle exploited the young children in the movie, plucked them from the slums, paid them little and failed to provide additional compensation when the film shot to global prominence. (more…)

Immigration News

Immigration-Related TV Season In Full Gear: First, Arpaio; Now, Homeland Security

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor

The show doesnt have a political point of view, its creator says

The show "doesn't have a political point of view", its creator says. (Photo: New York Times)

It seems immigration-related reality shows are all the rage this season. Only a couple of weeks after the launch of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s show, the ABC network this week launched “Homeland Security USA”. The show — a border protection version of “Cops” — debuted Tuesday and, as anything that touches on the issue of immigration these days, immediately drew both high praise and scornful denunciations.

Even before its first airing, a Facebook group opposing the series had been set up, drawing “more than 500 postings within its first few days,” The AP reported. “Many were negative, including denunciations of the show as government propaganda.”

The show’s own website became a place for confrontation. “Cancel the show,” was the title of one thread in the message board. “Immigration reform now!!!” demanded another. “Liberal news slams the show. You know it has to be good,” wrote someone else.

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Latino

In Minnesota and Elsewhere, Catholic Leaders Push For Legalization For Undocumented Immigrants

Virgin of Guadalupe, by Rick/Flickr

Virgin of Guadalupe (Photo: Rick/Flickr)

Catholic leaders around the country continue to take the lead on legalization for undocumented immigrants.

We recently reported on the Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, Anthony B. Taylor asking Arkansas Catholics to welcome immigrants rather than reject them. Now, Minnesota’s Catholic leaders have declared Jan. 4 “Immigration Sunday,” and will use the occasion to transmit the same message to the state’s faithful.

“We, the Roman Catholic Bishops of Minnesota, want to share our hope for: newcomers journeying in search of greater opportunities for themselves and their families; communities enriched by the many contributions of newcomers; and advocates working for justice and reform,” the six bishops in the Minnesota Catholic Conference said in a statement released on Dec. 12, the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s patron, and the second anniversary of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid on a meatpacking plant in Worthington, Minn.

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Immigration News

Funny Names Unite for Obama

A pro-Obama political action committee (PAC) just released a raft of television ads in New Mexico,a critical battleground state where one-in-three voters is Latino.

As Feet in 2 Worlds’ Martina Guzmán reported in her recent news feature on WNYC New York Public Radio, the campaigns are increasingly targeting their multimillion dollar Latino voter outreach efforts to ever-smaller slivers of the electorate. Martina’s piece noted that the McCain campaign is wooing older Latino votes, while the Obama campaign is focusing on young Latino voters via social networking sites like Facebook and Mi Gente and ads aired on YouTube and the Spanish-language broadcast giant Univisión.

The latest ad, produced in identical English and Spanish versions, focuses on establishing a connection between the spectrum of mostly young people featured on the screen and Obama, noting, “For Barack Obama, it doesn’t matter if your name is hard to pronounce, or where you’re from… what’s important is working hard and getting a good education….”

The Obama campaign ad running in New Mexico also responds to market research (albeit most of it done by Univisión or its partner Nielsen Media Research) that found 77% of KMEX (Los Angeles’ Univisión outlet) and WXTV (the Univisión outlet in the New York metropolitan area) viewers are bilingual.

Young or old, Univisión clearly feels its viewers are hungry for more election-related information: the network announced yesterday that it will ‘deliver the most extensive multiplatform election coverage in the network’s history’, with special election-related segments and live daily reports from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

ArabImmigration News

The Occupational Hazards of Being a Reporter for the Arab Press in America: Al Jazeera English

Feet in 2 Worlds doesn’t generally rely on the Daily News’ Rush & Malloy gossip page as a credible source, period, let alone on immigrant and ethnic media. But an election-related headline caught our eye yesterday.

When an Al Jazeera English reporter attempted last week to interview an Iraq war veteran running for Congress in Florida, the candidate called the FBI, saying he feared a potential terrorist hit. See the whole story here.

The candidate, Republican retired Lt. Col. Allen West, reported he was suspicious of Al Jazeera English’s request to interview him on the recent ‘perceived uptick in violence in Afghanistan’. West said he suspected the interview request was a ploy to kidnap him in the dangerous confines of South Florida, where he is hoping to unseat Rep. Ron Klein, a first-term Democratic incumbent in a district that is also home to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

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BrooklynImmigration NewsNew York

Immigrant Voters: New York’s New Soccer Moms?

The front page of last Sunday’s New York Times Metro section made much of the emergence of immigrants as an increasingly important voting bloc in New York City electoral politics, particularly with a view toward next year’s municipal elections.

The acknowlegment of immigrant voting power flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which has long said immigrants are not as engaged in US politics as those of their home countries.

According to the New Americans Exit Poll Project (conducted by Columbia University) and a recent analysis by CUNY’s Center for Urban Research, the number of immigrant voters is on the rise in New York City. What’s more, immigrants are responsible for much of the expansion of the city’s electorate.The CUNY study found at least a third of new voters added to the city’s voter rolls since 2004 were Russian, Chinese, Korean, or Muslim.  These new faces and ethnicities in the city’s electorate join the roughly one million immigrants already registered to vote in New York.

According to the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), a nonpartisan immigrant advocacy group that registers new citizens to vote, over 265,000 immigrants have been added to the city’s voter rolls since 1996.In a city where City Council races are won and lost by a margin of 5,000 votes, this infusion of new voters puts a distinctly New York spin on the nation’s growing realization that immigrant voters are crucial to political races.

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