The Dangerous Numbers Game in Immigration Coverage

Robbins, Ted
September 2006
Nieman Reports;Fall2006, Vol. 60 Issue 3, p69
The article focuses on the tendency for lazy reporting and opinion journalism in reporting the number of illegal immigration in the U.S. The numbers relevant to illegal immigration and immigrants might not be lies but they do not represent the truth. That claim could be attributed to the tendency of journalists to veer toward biased reporting and over reliance on available research which, most often, are based on assumptions. Such studies, which are generated and used by agenda-driven organizations such as the Center for Immigration Studies and the National Immigration Forum, also present differing and conflicting results. It is, therefore, the duty of journalists to determine facts and do the necessary leg work to try to assure their accuracy.


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