Immigration in the News: An Analysis of Coverage from Four California Counties
2019 | Read the full report.
Immigration is a central issue for racial and health equity in California. Community leaders from across the state have expressed their commitment to changing narratives around immigration and immigrant communities as part of their broader advocacy and racial justice work. The hostile political climate facing immigrants in many parts of California means that communicating strategically and centering equity in those narratives is both challenging and urgent. Understanding the current narrative around immigration as it is reflected in news coverage can reveal gaps in the story about immigration and provide direction for strategic communication.
PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) explored how a broad range of immigration issues appear in news coverage from four counties: Monterey, Sacramento, Kern, and San Diego. These counties represent a diverse set of circumstances and regions, including border communities, the Central Valley, and the state Capitol. Advocates working in these locations aim to build public awareness of the social and environmental dimensions of health—including health and racial equity—to mobilize advocacy for structural and policy changes in their counties.
In this report, BMSG summarizes the analysis and provides an overview of how immigration is being framed by local media in the four counties, including the challenges, limitations, and opportunities the portrayals present for changing the narrative.