Annotated Bibliography: Media and Immigration

The following sample Communications annotated bibliography is 1726 words long, in APA format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 209 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

Dunaway, J., Branton, R., & Abrajano, M. (2010). Agenda setting, public opinion, and the issue of immigration reform. Social Science Quarterly, 91(2), 359-378.

This article explored Agenda-setting theory with respect to media coverage of immigration policies. The key question that was asked was whether immigration-related news coverage was more prominent in border states versus non-border states. The authors also wanted to explore public opinion to see whether it was impacted by more media coverage regarding immigration. In order to collect evidence, the authors conducted a content analysis report that analyzed news coverage over the scope of 12 months in border and non-border states (Dunaway et al, 2010). During the course of this period, the researchers also collected evidence in the form of surveys from individuals that commented on their perception of immigration and immigration-related policies such as the Syrian refugee crisis. The researchers also quantified how prominent immigration-related policies were in the news by counting the actual number of articles. 

The results found that the hypothesis was true: “Media attention to immigration is greater in border states than in nonborder states; as a result, residents of border states are more likely to identify immigration as a most important problem than are residents of nonborder states” (Dunaway et al, 2010, p. 359). Because of the raw number of impressions, or instances that people saw the immigration-related stories, their perception was that immigration was a very important topic or issue in society. My critical reaction to this is that the news has plenty of power when it comes to influencing how important issues are. Because they control the level of exposure for any given topic or issue, it is no wonder that the ones they showcase are perceived as being more important. The article simply supported the notion that agenda-setting theory is a valid theory for understanding how communication works in society. 

Iniguez-rueda, L., Martinez, L., & Gonzales, A. (2012). Telecenters as association stations: The role of information and communication technologies in migratory processes. Migration International, 6(4), 76-105.

In this article, the authors sought to find out how important information and communication technologies (ICT) were for immigrants during the migration process. Initially, the authors posited that immigration heavily relied on social interaction in a new host country as a part of the assimilation process. Also, telecenters, or specific social spaces designed for computer and technology-mediated communication, worked towards building social networks for immigrants. The authors collected evidence by conducting “ethnographic observation” of a select few participants (p. 83). Immigrants were observed using telecenters and were then asked to take surveys, answer questions and reflect on their experience. This qualitative study sought to analyze the extent to which immigrants rely on technology centers for communication. 

The results showed that immigrants heavily relied on ICT’s and it was an integral aspect of the migration process in terms of maintaining their social networks. Indeed, the authors reflected that after doing the study, the evidence “[showed] that the central, defining element of this process [social adaptation] is none other than ICT” (p. 99). That is, ICT was a critical aspect in terms of how immigrants integrated into society, while still maintaining their own autonomy as migrants. My initial thoughts on this article were that it was interesting in the sense that the article was written in 1997. This was before the real internet revolution and modern day social networks like Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. The criticism I would have is that there is nothing especially unique about immigrants using technology to communicate, as all humans have the fidelity to use communication tools. The author would have to extend the argument for all people, not just migrants. 

Kim, S., Carvalho, J., Davis, A., & Mullins, A. (2011). The view of the border: News framing of the definition, causes, and solutions to illegal immigration. mass communication and society, 14, 292-314.

In this article, the authors sought to explore why immigration is perceived to be an important problem, from a media consumption standpoint. Solutions and in depth analysis was also offered. The main research question was: “How do the media present the question of why illegal immigration is a problem? Have certain negative consequences appeared more often than others in the media?” (p. 297). Looking at the recent consistency of immigration coverage in the news, the authors posited that journalists and news stations were a major part of the problem. To collect evidence, the researchers analyzed 484 news articles and television news transcripts using a keyword search provided by LexisNexis (p. 300). They actively searched for articles and transcripts that had relevant keyword searches.

In the final analysis, the researchers found that since 2004, immigration has had a prominent role in news coverage. Much of this had to do with the fact that President Bush and the nation passed some serious legislation that affected millions of immigrants (p. 309). However, the researchers also found that journalists and news companies also had a role in shaping the way that people perceived immigration. For instance, often times the news stories were chosen and negotiated in terms of its “importance” based on complex factors (Kim et al, 2011). Another major finding was that stories were chosen on the basis of their potential interest generation from audiences: “news organizations are for-profit organizations; the stories that attract a large audience become a regular choice” (p. 310). My critical reaction is that immigration is a topic that is surely bloated by the media, and merely exacerbated by how the media decides to portray it. The negative viewpoints and consequences of this are a managed issue that compromises journalistic success in exchange for the validity of facts. 

Matera, F. (1997). Setting the news agenda with an ethnic-relevant topic: Public salience of illegal immigration. The Howard Journal of Communications, 8, 329-347.

This article seeks to explore how agenda-setting theory related to media news coverage of immigration in Phoenix, Arizona. The main research question was: “How do respondents' perceptions of their problem of singular salience (the ‘most important problem’) influence their perceptions of experience and interest in the problem?” (p. 337). Ultimately, the researchers wanted to find out if issues were perceived as being more important because of one’s racial identification with the issue, like immigration. The researchers predicted that respondents would have “racial/ethnic identification with public problems” (p. 334). In conducting their research, 626 adults from a representative sample were selected in order to do phone interviews. Their interest, relevant and priority towards certain issues was measured. During the course of the phone interviews, immigration was a relevant topic of concern for the locals there. 

In terms of the most important problems, the researchers found that respondents reacted with respect to their own ethnic/racial identification. For example, Hispanics were more likely to deem immigration a more serious issue than the economy whereas non-Hispanics did not. Such evidence suggests that there is a clear impact of the media’s attention towards portraying certain issues; however, this does not take into account that different races may identify with these issues to a different degree. Ultimately, the media’s agenda-setting tendency was seen as a major influence. My critical reaction to this article was that the media portrays issues that are also relevant to a specific geographical area. For example, the fact that immigration was prominent in the news also reflected the fact that Arizona is an area that is heavily impacted by immigration legislation.  

Zuniga, H., Correa, T., & Valenzuela, S. (2012). Selective exposure to cable news and immigration in the U.S.: The relationship between FOX News, CNN, and attitudes toward Mexican immigrants. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(4), 597-615.

This article explored how selective exposure to media outlets has the capacity to influence key immigration policy opinions, such as that of immigration. With new ways to consume media such as the internet and various other outlets, people can choose outlets that are predisposed to certain viewpoints. For example, outlets like FOX news are predisposed to be a bit more conservative than CNN, which is more liberal (Zuniga et al, 2012, p. 599). The researchers asked whether this selective exposure would lead to “limited or strong media effects” (p. 301). Ultimately, they wanted to find out whether watching certain news outlets would impact people’s perception of policy issues like immigration and political socialization. A national US survey was conducted from 2008 to 2009 via a web-survey based on US Census data. It was a representative sample based on age and gender as well as a few other factors (Zuniga et al, 2012). 

The researchers found that they were correct in their assertion that selective exposure impacts people’s perceptions and opinions on issues like immigration. Ultimately, “results indicate conservative Republicans are more likely to watch FOX News, which is associated with negative perceptions of Mexican immigrants and higher support for restrictive immigration policies” (p. 597). That is, by watching a certain news outlet, your opinion is subject to change. This also suggests that people have the power to enforce their own beliefs by watching news outlets that align or challenge their views. This furthers research on mass communication because it gives testament to the power of choosing what to consume from the media. My critical reaction is that people have many choices in terms of what they want to watch. Choosing what to watch on television is also impacted by the way that these companies advertise and compete for attention. This is an added dimension that deserves an inquiry.

References

Dunaway, J., Branton, R., & Abrajano, M. (2010). Agenda setting, public opinion, and the issue of immigration reform. Social Science Quarterly, 91(2), 359-378.

Iniguez-rueda, L., Martinez, L., & Gonzales, A. (2012). Telecenters as association stations: The role of information and communication technologies in migratory processes. Migration International, 6(4), 76-105.

Kim, S., Carvalho, J., Davis, A., & Mullins, A. (2011). The view of the border: News framing of the definition, causes, and solutions to illegal immigration. mass communication and society, 14, 292-314.

Matera, F. (1997). Setting the news agenda with an ethnic-relevant topic: Public salience of illegal immigration. The Howard Journal of Communications, 8, 329-347.

Zuniga, H., Correa, T., & Valenzuela, S. (2012). Selective exposure to cable news and immigration in the U.S.: The relationship between FOX News, CNN, and attitudes toward Mexican immigrants. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(4), 597-615.