Covering the Waking Giant: The Media & Immigrants

Twice recently I've pointed to public media's inability to cover immigrants in their coverage of the debates over immigration reform. On Saturday, between 500,000 to 1 million people marched through downtown Los Angeles in favor of immigrant rights. How has the media covered it?

The march led the LA Times today. Rather than focus on the march itself, Teresa Watanabe and Hector Becerra's article uses the rally as a point of departure for an exploration of immigration politics. It give an preview of the this week's Senate debates, but also adds some new nuggets:

This week, for instance, the president of the 30-million-member National Assn. of Evangelicals is scheduled to issue a statement supporting immigration reform, including a guest worker program. It will be in concert with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, conference

A companion piece features stories from some marchers and organizers:

"I love this country as if it were my own, for the opportunities it has
given me," said Laurentino Ramirez, 32, an illegal immigrant from
Mexico who makes minimum wage at a Los Angeles garment factory.

The highlight of the Times coverage is this photo slide show.

The Washington Post and the New York Times both have bureaus in Los Angeles, yet they decidied to cover "one of the largest demonstrations for any cause in recent U.S. history" by merely running the AP wire story. The Post put carried it on A3, though it was not featured prominently on its website– this evening it's listed below articles about "herd security" at the Houston airport, a mission to Mars, and the UAW's grudging acceptance of globalization.

By contrast, La Opinion in LA surrounded its this lede story with 10 additional stories. If you want to what is coming next from the immigrant activists, look not to the TImes, but to La Opinion:

Tras la masiva manifestación de más de medio millón de personas, los
organizadores anunciaron que sostendrán una cumbre de coaliciones en
Arizona, o en Dallas, Texas, el próximo 8 de abril. En esa fecha
convocarán a un boicot “contra la economía de Estados Unidos”,
contemplado para el 19 de mayo, informó Juan José Gutiérrez, presidente
del Movimiento Latino USA.

My favorite coverage is from eecue via Blogging LA:

The peaceful actions of the extremely well organized protesters would
make Martin Luther King Jr. a proud man if he was here to see it today.
The vast majority of the protesters wore white to symbolize peace, but
it also made the throngs of people stand out, their great numbers
readily apparent. The marchers chanted the famous Ceasar Chavez slogan
"Sí, Se Puede," meaning Yes, It We Can Be Done and carried placards with slogans such as "Keep Our Families Together" and "We Are Not Criminals". My favorite was this "You Bug So Much You Woke Up the Sleeping Giant" sign.

Thousands of American and Mexican flags waived together as the news helicopters
made passes over the crowd. It was the greatest show of patriotism I have seen my whole life…

Here are eecue's photos, and others from Getty Images that eecue points to.

LA IndyMedia also has photos and a video of Abraham Lincoln with his Meximerica flag.



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