Day 5: Peter Laufer

In his conference: “iMigrating: Borders and Identity: the California Mexico Crisis” held the last day of the International Journalism Week, Peter Laufer has reflected about the situation that faces immigration in the U.S. now due to the Internet and the social networks. He has been working for NBC and CBS Radio, reporting conflicts over the world, but now he’s a teacher at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, USA.

The speaker has showed the audience through some videos the divergence that exists in the public opinion about Mexican immigrants who cross the border in order to enter the States. “There is an immoderate attack to people who have immigrated on the internet, this, before the digital era would only have been a letter to the editor.  Is that healthy?” has considered Laufer. Furthermore, he has warned the audience about how the Internet has helped bad stereotypes spreading. “This video: Juanito 2014, campaigning for California’s Governor has been criticized by Latino activists because they said that it reinforces stereotypes” has explained the speaker after showing the importance that platforms such as Youtube have in this issue.

Laufer has highlighted the dangers of an audience with no critical thinking in the immigration debate and how this can harm to the journalist’s image: “Talking about the Tea-Party website, it’s political propaganda but is being received as journalism. The audience is not sophisticated enough sometimes to notice this because media literacy is not always taught. And so the audience is not sophisticated to differentiate this. This is even scarier.”

Sara Rodero.