Immigration Reporting Underrepresents Women and Why it Matters


Earlier this year, the female-centric journalism platform, Fuller Project for International Reporting, analyzed the United States' media coverage of immigration. Their findings identified two important trends: the unparalleled emphasis on national security and the absence of women's voices. Columbia Journalism Review examines these effects and how a more inclusive, representative depiction of immigrants can influence public perception for the better.

News articles focused almost entirely on border control, and only two out of 100 stories featured topics that impacted women, with the exception being the current spotlight on family separation at the border. Media coverage continues to perpetuate the courageous male asylum seeker, while women are associated with the dehumanizing image of "anchor babies." Male government law officials are almost three times more likely to be quoted than women, and male experts twice as likely to be photographed.

These stories often paint a disparaging picture of immigrants and fail to capture the true impact they have on their communities. Ninety percent of care-workers in the United States are women, many of whom are foreigners. Immigrant women make up 13 percent of female entrepreneurs and are twice as likely as native-born women to be doctors or surgeons. The media plays a prevalent role in how we see the world; how would the perception of immigrants change if more of these stories of success and service came to light? LEARN MORE