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White BacklashImmigration, Race, and American Politics$
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Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan L. Hajnal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164434

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164434.001.0001

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Media Coverage of Immigration and White Partisanship

Media Coverage of Immigration and White Partisanship

with Hans Hassell

(p.154) Chapter 5 Media Coverage of Immigration and White Partisanship
White Backlash

Marisa Abrajano

Zoltan L. Hajnal

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the role of news media in driving white fears regarding immigration. In particular, it explores the relationship between media coverage of immigration and aggregate shifts in white party identification. It first considers how the media influences public opinion before discussing the media's profit-driven incentives to frame immigration in a negative manner. Content analysis of immigration-related articles from the New York Times from 1980 to 2011 shows that when the issue of immigration is brought to the attention of the public, it is generally with an emphasis on the negative consequences of immigration. This negative coverage leads to important effects on white macropartisanship. Across this time period, the chapter finds that the reliance on the Latino threat narrative by the media is correlated with significant defection away from the Democratic Party along with increases in the proportion of the public that identifies as Republicans and Independents.

Keywords:   news media, immigration, media coverage, New York Times, macropartisanship, Democratic Party, Republicans, Independents, public opinion, white party identification

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