The U.S. media have hindered effective policy-making on immigration for decades, and their impact has been increasing in recent years as a result of an ongoing evolution in the media industry. Changes in the media landscape—the advent of a 24-hour news cycle, the growing Latino media, and rise of conservative voices on cable TV news, are increasingly transforming the context of our nation’s political battles, and promoting stalemate on an issue that is inherently difficult to resolve. Immigration, a topic likely to resurface on the public agenda in 2009, will need to be addressed by the next administration and Congress.
On September 25, the Brookings Institution, in partnership with the Norman Lear Center at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, released a report examining the new media’s role in the U.S. immigration debate, and explored how the media conditioned public opinion and the policy landscape.
Brookings Vice President and Director of Governance Studies Darrell West provided introductory remarks. Authors E.J. Dionne Jr., senior fellow at Brookings; Roberto Suro of the USC Annenberg School; and Banu Akdenizli of the Project for Excellence in Journalism presented their findings. A panel discussion, moderated by Harvard University’s Marvin Kalb, followed.