The role of mainstream news media is to be a watchdog of society. It means to be unbiased, offer surveillance, be the fourth estate of the government, and to take Voltaire’s words to heart: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Every trained journalist should know and practice the four pillars of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, which are to: seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, be accountable, and act independently.
Then why is negative and sensationalized coverage of immigration issues focused on Hispanics? Where is fair coverage of immigrants? Does being accountable mean accepting prejudiced sources as basic knowledge? Do television stations and newspapers, bloggers and reporters, editors and producers understand first of all that being Mexican is not interchangeable with Puerto Rican, Cuban, or Dominican, among others? When the camera swings on issues of illegal immigration, immigrants “taking” Americans’ jobs, how government services are being funneled to illegal immigrants and costing taxpayers money, and terrorism threats, the B-roll pans on Latinos, mostly Mexicans, although they are definitely not the only immigrants coming into the country.
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