Arizona on Our Minds

Has the coverage of Arizona's new immigration law been overly sensational?

For the last month, as Arizona debated and passed new strict anti-illegal immigration measures into law, the press has struggled to explain what the bill does, and how it fits into the complicated legal, ethical, and economic mosaic surrounding our nation’s immigration policies.

Some, particularly those who tend to support increased restrictions on immigration, have criticized elements of the press for being overly sensational about the bill’s impact. Here’s Fox’s Brit Hume, saying just that on Monday night:

I think this bill, when you get down do it, is so basically mild and all it does is authorize Arizona to enforce federal laws and make some federal crimes also state crimes. I just don’t think it is what it has been portrayed. I am bound to say in the annals of misrepresentation by the media this is really a bad case. This is a wonderful case study of the damage that bad reporting and bad analysis can do. It’s been terrible in this case.

What do you think? Have you seen reporting that inadequately explains the bill’s impact, omits important context, or that you thought was sensational? Whose reporting has stood out, and whose has fallen short?

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The Editors are the staffers of Columbia Journalism Review.