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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Panel to discuss immigration reporting and journalism ethics


Madison, Wis. – The Center for Journalism Ethics will host a free public event –  “On the Border and Beyond: Ethics and Immigration Reporting” – at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. Three panelists with expertise in immigration issues and journalism will engage in a public discussion about media ethics and the contemporary challenges of covering immigration in the U.S.

The panelists are: 

  • Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times immigration reporter and 2019 Center for Journalism Ethics journalist-in-residence. Dickerson has broken news about the Trump administration’s family separation policy, immigrant arrests and deportations, asylum practices and health and safety standards inside immigration detention centers. 
  • Armando Ibarra, UW-Madison professor of labor education and director of the Chican@/Latin@ Studies Program. Ibarra’s research is focused on Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano/a and Latino/a working communities, social movements and international labor migration.  
  • Nissa Rhee, executive director of 90 Days, 90 Voices, a nonprofit immigration news outlet. Rhee is an award-winning journalist who has covered global issues as a producer at Chicago Public Radio, served as a foreign correspondent and reported on police abuse and gun violence in Chicago. 

Kathleen Bartzen Culver, James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics and director of the Center, will moderate the conversation, which will address topics such as covering trauma, the role of local and national journalism in telling immigration stories, ethical issues of representation, as well as best practices for immigration reporting. 

“Our country is more politically polarized than we have seen in our lifetimes,” Culver said. “Journalists face ethical challenges in how to cover immigration, one of the most divisive issues facing the country. And they are doing this work while under partisan attack and staring down critical questions about how we have lost public trust and how to regain it.” 

The event is free and open to the public. The panel will be in the Promenade Room at the Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street, Madison.

Dickerson will be visiting the Center for Journalism Ethics the week of Sept. 22 as part of the Center’s journalist in residence program, an initiative now in its fourth year. The program brings renowned journalists to campus to promote engagement with UW–Madison students and the public. 

The Center for Journalism Ethics, housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the UW-Madison, provides an international hub for the examination of the role of professional and personal ethics in the pursuit of fair, accurate and principled journalism. Founded in 2008, the Center offers resources for journalists, educators, students and the public, including internationally recognized annual conferences exploring key issues in journalism.

For information, contact Krista Eastman, Center for Journalism Ethics administrator, at