News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Friday, May 2, 2008

A media coverage scorecard on the 2008 May Day immigration demonstrations

A summary of how some major newspapers covered the 2008 May Day immigration protests:

New York Times – Score: C-

Crowds Are Smaller at Protests by Immigrants,” a 714-word story focusing on the diminished crowds and lack of focus.

Washington Post – Score: D

Did not feature a story on the demonstrations in their online newsfeed. In 940 words “Thousands rally in May Day effort for immigration reform” produced quotes from a cross-section of demonstrators across the nation.

Los Angeles Times – Score: B

March smaller but festive” in 1,297 words the LAT stressed the negative economic effects of workplace raids.


The length of all the stories in these newspapers were shorter than average, indicating a lack of news value in the judgment of the editors.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

Study claims workplace immigration raids will hurt the L.A. economy

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) released a study claiming the region could lose nearly 75,000 jobs if firms believed to employ high numbers of illegal workers were to leave the area because of workplace raids. According to the study, the 75,000 jobs would be lost if only 15% of companies moved away in the fashion, food processing and furniture manufacturing industries. According to Jack Kyser, chief economist for the LAEDC, the state of Washington and other areas are already courting local businesses to relocate to more immigrant-friendly locales. The three key industries cited have created nearly 500,000 jobs, through direct and indirect influence, and produced $18.3 billion in wages in 2006.

Instead of targeting illegal immigrants who lead productive lives, “federal immigration officials should target dangerous or violent criminals,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said during a recent press conference.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez