Magazine article Nieman Reports

Global Migration and Immigration about the Journey

Magazine article Nieman Reports

Global Migration and Immigration about the Journey

Article excerpt

"The border was mysterious, lawless and magical. It was the frontier where cultures collide and blend. And the global future in the making," writes Sebastian Rotella, as he recalled his reporting from the U.S.-Mexico border during the 1990's. Still with the Los Angeles Times, now as Paris bureau chief, Rotella remains "obsessed with borders" and writes about how he probes the consequences of immigration in Europe. "What's going on in Europe today is, literally and figuratively, a border story," whether the border is on Paris's Avenue Champs Elysees or in the Canary Islands. To create his book, "Migrations," photographer Sebastiao Salgado went to where people were on the move; he found men, women and children fleeing from poverty and hopelessness and also refugees escaping from enemies determined to destroy them. "... they allowed themselves to be photographed," Salgado writes, "because they wanted their plight to be made known." A selection of photographs from his book appears with words about how bearing witness to these migrations changed him.

Phillip W.D. Martin, an independent radio producer, describes an upcoming six-part public radio series entitled "Standing Up to Racism" that is focused on individuals and groups that "are standing up to the intensifying hate in Europe." This is a story Martin found not being widely reported despite "this major societal and political shift taking place." From the Netherlands, journalists Yvonne van der Heijden and Evert Marbles tell the story of how--in response to a political assassination and internal discussions--reporters have altered their coverage of the nation's large migrant population. From a time when the media ignored migrants, just as migrants ignored the Dutch media, now "the lives of migrants and their communities" receive a lot more press attention. Mary Kay Magistad, Northeast Asia correspondent for "The World," explores the emerging "new attitude toward migrant workers" in the Chinese news media as they report on "the biggest and fastest rural to urban migration in human history." Not long ago regarded as "a necessary, if somewhat grubby, embarrassment to the more sophisticated urban citizenry," now topics such as worker exploitation, harsh treatment by authorities, and worker protests are covered, but within the regulations of the country's state-run media.

Raised in Los Angeles by Guatemalan immigrants, Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times Mexico City bureau chief, describes "the segregation" between journalists and immigrant communities and explains why this happens. "The Times' coverage of immigrant communities is like that of most other papers," he writes. "It focuses on cultural conflict, on the 'otherness' of the people who live there." In South Central Los Angeles, where Latino immigrants are displacing African Americans, photojournalist Lester Sloan believes that press coverage inflames tensions; "Journalists owe the community of South Central more than infrequent scrutiny during periods of chaos," he writes. Photographer Donna DeCesare peers inside the troubled lives of immigrant youths who turn to gang membership in the United States, then are deported and bring gang affiliations and activities to Central America. Rarely does she find other journalists following this story on what she calls her "lonely trail."

To tell the harrowing journey of Enrique, a Central American boy determined to reunite with his mother living in the United States, Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario confronted ethical and logistical reporting issues. She talked about them in a journalists' forum, including research she did on "what were the legal lines, aside from the moral and ethical lines." Los Angeles Times photographer Don Bartletti provided the images for "Enrique's Journey" and writes about his work obtaining those photographs, as well as other immigration coverage. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.