Reviews of Shaping Immigration News

Global Media and Communication (fall 2015) — Karina Horsti

Canadian Journal of Communication (fall 2015) — Anne Nadia Edimo

Political Communication (fall 2015) — Abby Jones

European Journal of Communication (summer 2015) — David Smith

Questions de communication (March 2015) — Michael Palmer

American Journal of Sociology (January 2015) — Roger Dickinson

International Journal of Communication (2015) — Mark Hannah

International Journal of Press/Politics (2015) — Raymond Kuhn  

Council of European Studies — Anne Unterreiner (February 2014)

Social Forces (May 2014) — Christine V. Wood

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly —Sandhya Rao (September 2014)

LSE Review of Books (September 2014) — Julian Matthews

Public Books (July 2014) — Victor Pickard

Journalism (October 2014) — Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Book blurbs

Shaping Immigration News uses one of the most salient and challenging issues facing contemporary democracies – immigration – as a lens through which to examine that critically important democratic institution, the press. Comparing the experiences of France and the United States for explanatory leverage, the author of this fine book identifies and tracks the prevalence of alternative frames and authorized spokespersons in immigration news over four decades – and in so doing demonstrates how institutional differences in the journalistic field refract coverage of events and debates in striking and often unanticipated ways.
– Paul DiMaggio, Princeton University

Rich in literature and well documented. This is one of the few volumes that offer an empirical verification of Bourdieu’s field theory applied to a very puzzling theme – immigration and news media in a comparative dimension. Differences in French and U.S. coverage of immigration are placed within a convincing interpretive framework, supported by data and a well-rooted theoretical apparatus.
– Paolo Mancini, University of Perugia

Anyone puzzled by the oddly misdirected character of much recent U.S. journalism on immigration policy would benefit from this book. Benson offers valuable insights as to why many journalists prefer to frame the subject as ‘emotional story-telling’ about race and culture rather than about U.S. labor markets and income inequality, while routinely portraying opposing policy perspectives as ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ even though these conventional categories have long explained rather little about divergent U.S. perspectives on immigration. The book also provides valuable comparisons of the distinctive histories, values, and economics of journalism as they have evolved in two liberal democracies, the United States and France.
– Michael S. Teitelbaum, Wertheim Fellow, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School

In this comprehensive study of news coverage of immigration in France and the United States, Benson shows the virtues of comparative media research. Bringing together insights from media policy, the sociology of journalism, and globalization studies, the study examines why coverage is different in both countries. Benson deftly probes conventional wisdom by dissecting differences and similarities between ‘national’ journalistic fields. With a fine-toothed comb, he examines the strengths and limitations of French and U.S. journalism. He has amassed powerful evidence showing why globalization does not make journalism homogeneous across borders. Against rushed conclusions about media convergence, he offers a cogent and persuasive argument about why political dynamics and economic issues contained within states remain crucial for understanding how journalism works. Past historical dynamics and institutional designs continue to shape reporters’ work. This book should be of interest to scholars interested in understanding the possibility for multiperspective and critical journalism in democratic societies, as well as continuities and changes in fluid news systems. Benson has produced a sophisticated, elegant, and evidence-packed cross-national analysis that will be a go-to reference for comparative research.
– Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University