Monday, May 4, 2009

Journalists' group: Don't blame immigrants for swine flu

Via: Orlando Sentinel

Posted by Victor Manuel Ramos on Apr 30, 2009 11:07:06 AM

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, a group also known as NAHJ that advocates to increase the percentage of Latinos working in newsrooms and to improve news coverage of the Latino community, issued a statement Wednesday asking for prudence in the coverage of the swine flu.

Here's the NAHJ's full statement:

Washington, D.C. -- The National Association of Hispanic Journalists called on the media on Wednesday to be fair and prudent when covering the spread of swine flu in the U.S. and around the world, and resist the portrayal of Mexican immigrants as scapegoats for the possible pandemic.

The following is a statement from the NAHJ Board of Directors:

"We have come to expect immigrant bashing from the usual suspects -- commentators who use purposefully inflammatory rhetoric to seek attention and to suit their agenda. And they haven’t disappointed, now using the swine flu as cause to decry immigration and immigrants. Immigrants, of course, have long been favorite and convenient scapegoats for some for everything from high taxes to infectious diseases. Facts haven’t much mattered.

But we trust that credible journalists will cover what is undeniably a big national story with more fairness and accuracy than we are hearing from these talking heads. We would ask that these stories be written as if facts did matter. Because they do.

The temptation even in more credible media, we know, will be to link Mexican immigrants with the spread of the disease to the United States. The consequence of too much of this will be even more anger -- and perhaps even more violence -- against a community no more responsible for the spread of this ailment than U.S. tourists returning from scenic, balmy vacations.

There are more than 4,000 flights per week from the United States to Mexico. Mexicans are not the only people on those flights. About 80 percent of visitors to Mexico in 2008 came from the United States.

The Mexican immigrant community in the United States is a part of this story. But not in such narrow fashion as we’re hearing at the moment. This community is as fearful of the swine flu’s spread as anyone else. Viruses strike regardless of where you were born. And, please remember, the fear is not just for themselves but for family members and friends still in Mexico.

The World Health Organization is raising its alert from Level 4 to Level 5, an action that will cause further temptation to overreact. If the swine flu becomes a true pandemic, we ask simply that the news industry do its job. That would be covering the story, not in the breathless fashion of the talking heads, but as a story as needful of truth, fairness, accuracy and balance as any other important story. In fact, the bigger the story, the more it needs these attributes.

With such stories as this, the news media can be part of the solution or part of the problem."

Víctor Manuel Ramos can be reached at He is also on Twitter at Blog subscribers can read and comment on the original post at

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1 comment:

Vicente Duque said...

The Millions of Dollars that the masses of Idiots produce for the Media Merchants of Hate

Aurora :

Thanks to Aurora for keeping us informed on this Infamous and Ridiculous Circus of Hate Media, like Michael Savage and Jay Severin.

You friend, keep the Faith in us, that someday some Justice may occur. Your keep fighting. You are strong.

Thanks for keeping us informed on these cases. At first I wasn't interested in that idiot of Jay Severin or in Michael Savage. I thought that they were other Merchants of Hate like Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter ( Ladies First ? ) and other imbeciles that become rich by repetitive idiotic Hate.

By the way, Sean Hannity is the most Intelligent or less mentally retarded of these Imbeciles, and perhaps not so evil and not so mean, and perhaps he is going to pay his sentence in Hell in a cooler room, or with air conditioned that Satan is going to rent him ( Hate produces millions of dollars in an eyeblinck )

I am a great admirer of Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks. And speaking of money he has researched the earnings of some of the exploiters of the masses of idiots. Staggering Figures !!

And when I listened to the tapes and videos of Jay Severin I was astonished that there are clients and customers for such Imbecility. How can people be so idiotic and stupid ??

This Jay Severin contradicts everything that I was told as a child by my family and my elementary schoolteachers, and by my millieu or environment.

Kudos to the Capitalists that fired this bastard, if this is indeed true that this idiot was fired.

And do not forget the Most Racist Senator Jeff Sessions of Selma Alabama being now the Highest Ranking Republican in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I am also astonished by the humiliating character of this guy. His favorite passtime is to mistreat Black People and calling them "Boy" ... And Whites that give good treatment to Blacks are called "Shame to their race" by this bigot.

Later he says that it was all a "Joke" and that's it.

Vicente Duque