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Tips for covering immigrants

By Doug Haddix, IRE Training Director

When she gets e-mails and calls about controversial stories, Claudia Núñez of La Opinion in Los Angeles says some readers ask if she is working against Latinos, even though she herself is a Latina. Her curt reply: “No, I’m not. I’m a journalist.”[/caption] Often, immigrants expect ethnic media journalists to be advocates for their causes rather than independent reporters, she told more than 40 journalists at an IRE Ethnic Media Watchdog Workshop at the University of Southern California. Journalists covering immigrants should focus more time on “King Kong” story ideas, she said, beyond the routine daily coverage. Her “King Kong” ideas have produced stories on topics such as sexual exploitation of day laborers. Stone Liu, editor of The China Press, says his publication has taken strong editorial positions in recent years. The three key positions: allow for naturalization of some illegal immigrants, help reunite families separated by immigration laws, and provide for more immigration of skilled workers. Key Web sites can help journalists covering immigration, says Stephanie Czekalinski, editor of The Columbus Dispatch-Fronteras, a weekly Spanish-language newspaper. She encouraged reporters to explore the list of online resources for story ideas, data and sources:

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