Comparisons of Immigration Narratives B/w All Newspapers

Hello again!

If you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for this post to drop, I don’t blame you. It’s finally time to share some statistics that compare the immigration narratives between our receiving country of the U.S. and the origin countries of Honduras and Mexico. As Week 3 begins, I’m exiting the data-collection stage and entering the data interpretation/presentation stage, so here are some of the highlights.

First, the dominant theme across all the articles was border crossing/enforcement. This category encompassed almost half of the articles in each newspaper, with La Tribuna and Excélsior having a slightly higher incidence of this theme than the Times. Clearly, most of the stories that permeated the media tended to focus on the immediate movement of immigrants rather than the cause of their migration or the policies that could shape their future. Government policy was the next most prevalent category of article, making up about 12% of the articles for Excélsior and roughly 25% of the articles for both the Times and La Tribuna.

With regards to encouraging and discouraging messages to potential migrants, the final numbers are in. When the origin-country data was disaggregated, the Times had the highest percent of discouraging articles (55%), followed by Excélsior (54.4%) and then La Tribuna (49.6%). La Tribuna led the charge for the highest percent of encouraging articles (21.6%), with the Times (18%) and Excélsior (16.8%) trailing slightly behind.

Remember that the given percentages don’t add up to 100 because many articles were classified as “neutral.” In short, La Tribuna had a slightly more positive immigration narrative than the Times, while Excélsior’s narrative lined up almost perfectly with the Times. However, it’s important to note that overall, the levels of encouragement and discouragement among the origin countries were fairly similar to those of the Times.

If a potential migrant were to read their national newspaper, they would most likely be aware of the countless drawbacks and obstacles they would face during their journey and in their destination country. In both Honduras and Mexico, the U.S. is generally not presented as a welcoming place in which it will be easy to get by. And in the United States, the Times also tends to present our country—or at the very least, our government—as an entity that isn’t eager to take in new people.

Although there are some nuanced differences between the newspapers that I have yet to touch on, I’ll save those for the big reveal at the research symposium. In case you just can’t get enough of these blog posts, be on the lookout for the release of my final summary post that reflects on my findings and on the entire research process.