The U.S. Congress is back from its self-imposed government shutdown break. Today, President Obama will presume that Congress (let’s be more accurate and say the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives) will actually wish to accomplish something, and so we now return to the issue of immigration reform.
The key goal of the proposed immigration reform is to give undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. These are people who may have spent years working in the U.S., paying taxes, owning homes, and raising families. By all measures, except holding the right legal papers, they have been good Americans. Yet, without reform they could be deported, and their families split up.
One of the near-casualties of outdated immigration laws is a young woman named Daniela Pelaez. In 2012, she was an 18-year-old Miami high school student when a judge ordered her to leave the country. [Read more →]
Tags: Immigration · Labor News · Politics
A decade ago, most Americans would have never predicted that gay marriage would become commonplace and a much less controversial political issue in the U.S. today.
In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, after a court ruling. But, the majority of Americans were staunchly opposed to it. Just 41% of Americans supported and 55% opposed gay marriage, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
President George W. Bush (a Republican) called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a position supported by Vice President Dick Cheney. It was the biggest social issue in the presidential election in 2004, and Bush used it to great advantage to gain reelection.
By this year, so much has changed. The same national poll now shows that 58% of Americans support gay marriage and just 36% oppose it. Democrat party members of all ages support gay marriage, political independents support it, and even a majority of Republicans ages 18-49 support it. Only Republicans over the age of 50 stand in opposition, and that opposition is softening. [Read more →]
Tags: Journalism Ethics
The Newspaper Guild/Communication Workers of America released Tuesday a summary report of their new “Labor & Unions in National TV Network News.”
The CWA and Newspaper Guild funded the study directed by Federico Subervi of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Texas State University.
The report is important. There is a big story here: over the past 30 years, public policies have dimmed the prospects for the working class (I use that term expansively – it includes most Americans) and increased the gap between the wealthiest and the rest. This study looks at three recent years – 2008, 2009, and 2011 – years in which the U.S. has struggled with the worst recession since the Great Depression, the years that gave rise to the global Occupy Wall Street movement, and years in which the right has gone after public sector unions with a vengeance.
Yet, the study finds, only 0.3 percent of network TV news in those three years covered labor issues. It’s a direct line from the decline of labor unions and collective bargaining to the decades-long economic slide of American workers, yet few journalists seem to be able to find the narrative thread. >>Read the full post at TalkingBizNews
Tags: Consumerism · Journalism · Journalism Ethics · Labor News · Media Economics · Newspapers · NPR · Occupy Wall Street · Politics · Television News · Working Class
It is no surprise to readers of newspapers – or readers of this blog — that newspapers contain little coverage of labor and working-class economic issues. Although I’d hesitate to say there was ever a “golden era” of labor coverage, there was a time not too long ago when newspapers regularly reported on the activities of labor unions – contract negotiations, strikes, and community activities.
The shift away from more active labor reporting came in the late 1960s, when the newspaper industry started to employ the tools of the growing consumer research industry to target “quality” demographics – that is, more upwardly mobile readers, with higher education and higher incomes. Although we like to think of journalism as a democratic practice, by the 1970s it served only a select group of consumers.
We can track the consumer shift in newspapers in Editor & Publisher, the leading trade journal where newspapers placed advertisements to sell their audience to national advertisers. The main commercial message of U.S. newspapers in the mass-market era of pre-1970s was simple: they had lots of readers who earned good wages in America’s booming industry and could buy advertisers’ products. >> READ MORE of my guest blog in Working-Class Perspectives
Tags: Consumerism · Journalism · Journalism Ethics · Labor News · Media Economics · Newspapers · Politics · Working Class