Media & Immigration

Published: June 2011

As part of two symposia organized in 2009 and 2010, the French-American Foundation addressed the heated issue of the characterization of immigration and immigrants in the North American and European media. The participants of the symposia – prominent North American and European reporters, scholars and other immigration experts – gathered in Paris and Miami to discuss this topic as well as to examine best practices. This report presents the highlights of the discussions and provides a series of key takeaways and recommendations.

Immigration is a complex topic that demands in-depth analysis rather than episodic and superficial journalistic treatment, and participants stressed the importance of avoiding stereotypes in their work. Participants also discussed the many challenges they face, such as gaining access to sources and developing relationships with immigrant communities. They acknowledged that a better understanding of both religion and economic forces could tremendously improve the quality of their work. Promoting better collaboration between ethnic and mainstream media and increasing diversity in newsrooms were other major topics of discussion.