University of Minnesota Assistant Professor Giovanna Dell'Orto's New Book Explores Role of News Media in Public Debates Over Immigration

University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication (SJMC) assistant professor Giovanna Dell'Orto has published "Reporting at the Southern Borders: Journalism and Public Debates on Immigration in the U.S. and the E.U."

The book, published by Routledge, provides original research by both scholars and practicing journalists that compares immigration across the Mediterranean and immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and examines how the practices of journalism help shape public debates over undocumented immigration.

Giovanna Dell'OrtoThe book stemmed from a grant Dell'Orto received from the University of Minnesota Center for German and European Studies to co-teach a graduate seminar about the topic with Georgia Tech political science professor Vicki Birchfield, who serves as co-editor of the book. This class inspired a conference in 2012 where Dell'Orto and Birchfield -- with the support of SJMC and 10 other departments throughout the University of Minnesota -- were able to invite reporters, human rights advocates and academic researchers from across the U.S. as well as France, Italy, Mexico and the U.K. to Minnesota so that these scholars and professionals could interact.

The more than a dozen attendees -- including nine widely published journalists ranging from the immigration reporter at the Arizona Republic to the Guardian's Southern Europe editor -- contributed a chapter to the book with their unique perspectives from the frontlines. "It's great to have this comparative perspective and to bring the dialogue to both the professionals and the scholars," Dell'Orto said.

Dell'Orto is a former immigration reporter for the Associated Press in the United States and Italy. She received her Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota. Her research and teaching interests focus on the role of the news media, mediated discourses and national identity in international affairs. Earlier this year, Cambridge University Press published her new history of the interplay between U.S. foreign correspondence and foreign policy, "American Journalism and International Relations: Foreign Correspondence from the Early Republic to the Digital Era."

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