Covering immigration is as complex as the laws that govern it. Journalists must grapple with swiftly-changing policies amid a fiercely competitive news climate, and a polarized public distrustful of the media.
We mentor journalists to help them cover stories about immigrants in an accurate, humanizing way.
Our services help reporters present thoughtful stories with journalistic integrity and compassionate storytelling:
- Curated source lists
- Story brainstorming
- Topical fact sheets
- Guest lectures
- Newsroom webinars
- Panel moderating
We partner with journalism organizations, news outlets and academic institutions to help uplift immigration coverage.
We conduct training sessions with partner organizations on best practices to cover immigration, provide newsroom workshops to address diversity in stories, and offer lectures on the history of immigration laws in the United States.
Reimagining Immigration News: North Carolina's Case for the Nation
The culmination of a one-year research project where Define American wanted to understand how local news consumers respond to media coverage about immigrants in North Carolina as a case study for the nation.
A Toolkit for Immigration Reporting
A resource for journalists on best practices for working with immigrant sources and how to use anonymity.
The First 100 Days of the Biden Administration: A 'Surge' in Negative Language Around the Border
We analyzed 12 news organizations’ immigration coverage during President Biden’s first 100 days, tracking their use of neutral terms and negative terms like "surge, wave, or flood" which dehumanize individuals seeking asylum.
The Language of Immigration Reporting: Normalizing vs. Watchdogging in a Nativist Age
Major U.S. newspapers used dehumanizing labels to refer to immigrants at a steadily increasing rate from 2014 – 2018.