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June 09, 2007

New media consumption and immigration attitudes

Some researchers from Stony Brook University are studying the relationship between online news consumption and attitudes towards immigration.

As someone who blogs about immigration, I find this research topic very interesting. It would be great to know whether blog readers have different attitudes about immigration than people who get their news from other sources.

Obviously no study is going to give us the definitive answer, but but each project has the potential to deepen our understanding of this understudied subject.

So, I urge you to participate.

Immigration Attitudes Survey

Increasingly, Americans are turning to the web for news about politics.  This is a survey about online news coverage of the immigration issue.  We are interested in your thoughts on this important political controversy.  If you decide to participate in our survey, you will start off by answering a few questions about yourself and your political attitudes.  Then you will watch a short news clip of an immigration story.  After the clip, we will ask you some questions about your position on immigration policy.  In total, the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete.  The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer.    

Click here to take the survey:

Please feel free to contact Chris Weber (  or Mary-Kate Lizotte ( at Stony Brook University with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your help!


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I thought the survey was poorly designed. After the clip, one is asked about whether it made one fearful, worried, etc -- conflating two very different possibilities: that one might be fearful, worried, etc, of the immigrants who are portrayed in the clip -- and that one might be fearful, worried, etc, about the government's increasingly Orwellian techniques, and the hysteria on the right that has produced them. I was more worried (mildly -- it's not like this was news to me) after watchng the clip -- but *not* because of the immigrants, but because of the actions of our government & its hysterical supporters.

It seems as if these two possibilities ought to have been distinguished.

I also didn't like the design, and the video clip I saw (apparently one possibility out of 3) infuriated me. It was all about how illegal immigration is a huge problem, and will be stopped by fingerprint scans. Give me a break. Most illegals either come through the desert (no scans there!) or overstay legitimate visas. There was no mention of the one policy that could work, namely, meaningfully sanctioning employers of illegals. The whole thing was out of GOP talking points, and very annoying.

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