We live in a 24/7/365 news cycle.  Between the internet and 24 hour news channels, there always has to be something to keep our interest.  Recently, real problems faced by Americans have taken attention away from the “illegal immigrant” problem.  However, when there is a quiet news cycle, for whatever reason, the immigration issue, and particularly the demonizing of the undocumented, garners high ratings for television and radio personalities and otherwise respectable new organizations. 

The issue of fairness in the media is an interesting one.  Given the constant need for news and to keep the audience’s attention, reporting has to be entertaining sometimes at the expense of being informative or even accurate.  When reputable news organizations such as CNN or Fox News have broadcasts that focus on the evils of immigration, day in and day out, “the most trusted name in news” has an effect on viewers’ perceptions.  The audience, for the most part, is not going to “fact-check” what is said and often takes the rhetoric as true – especially when it is being constantly repeated. 

Many people who are much smarter than I am are blaming the media for exacerbating the economic crisis that the US is currently facing.  The constant bad news is causing consumers to fear spending which contributes to the overall vicious circle and greater losses in terms of company profits and jobs as a result of consumer fears.   

Wherever the “media lens” is focused will showcase the bias of the reporter or producer of a particular piece.  For instance, when on-screen images of undocumented individuals being arrested by CBP as they exit a van are combined with the incident of a single undocumented individual who committed a crime, and the reporter’s voice refers to the problem of “criminal illegal aliens”, all the while the anchor, with a tone of disdain and disgust talks about how the government is not doing anything to enforce the laws to rid the nation of the “criminal illegal aliens”, it sends a message that while perhaps not inaccurate, is certainly biased and should arguably not be coming from “the most trusted name in news”.     

Author: Bradley Maged

I'm Brad Maged, an immigration lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts. I help people who want to live and work in the United States and companies that wish to employ them. This blog provides opinion and information on developments in immigration law. Thanks for reading!

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