Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hitting the books...

I'm heading back to school, well kind of.

For the next few days, I'll be attending a journalism training program in Washington, D.C., one of 13 journalists picked for a Scripps Howard scholarship to study immigration. The eight-day program is run by the D.C.-based International Center for Journalists.

The program’s goal is to help journalists better “understand the legal, social, economic, and political impact of the immigration debate while providing new skills on how to cover this complex issue.”

If I can, I hope to blog from time to time about the conference. I suspect some of you will be interested in hearing about these same issues: civil rights, enforcement, and the impact of immigration on the economy.

My fellow reporters participating in the conference have quite the experience and backgrounds. They include a public radio reporter from Seattle, a Venezuelan-born news service reporter, a former Inter-American Press Association scholar from California and a D.C.-based producer for Al Jazeera.

We’ll be meeting with some big names from all sides of the issue. They include legislators such as representatives Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican and Charles Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat. We’ll also hear from Steven Camarota, senior researcher at the Center for Immigration Studies, Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst at the Immigration Policy Center and Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center.

Anyone who thinks this is going to be a one-sided discussion should look again at the panelists. And I've only listed a few of them.

Feel free to send me some questions you think I should ask. Just please keep them civil. If they're witty, even better.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You should ask someone to define the word illegal for you and maybe write down their answer. That may help you with your future writing since you seem to have difficulty understanding exactly what it is that word means.

darkferi said...

Congratulations! Perhaps some of our elected officials should take a class in enforcing our laws and protecting our citizens first.

Good luck with your studies!

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to get a break from all of Franco's worthless articles....maybe I'll renew my subscription for the few days he is away.

Anonymous said...

Franco, good luck with your continuing studies. As for the commentator who questions your understanding the definition of 'illegal', perhaps they can pull out their dictionary and look up the word 'imbecile' to get a better understanding of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Considering the political correctness that most journalistic conferences encompass, I look forward to your vitriolic and 'objective' perspective on the numerous benefits that illegal immigrants grant to our most bigoted and racist nation.

P.S. Thanks to your journalistic prose and biased opinion, I long ago quit subscribing to the Charlotte Observer.

Anonymous said...

My goodness. What a polite bunch in here. Franco, good luck at the workshop. Perhaps someone will have a way to deal with the haters.

Anonymous said...

Franco -- I'll raise a question to ask your panelists ...

Has there been a correlation between the dwindling of our nation's newspapers subscribers and the general shift towards a more liberal journalistic perspective?


Why has journalism over the past decade or so been more interested in 'entertaining' its readership versus educating and informing them?

These two reasons are one of the main reasons why I read financial journals that have news information in them and international newspapers like Times UK -- they at least report the actual news versus the prism of a liberal lens.

Anonymous said...

You realize, of course, that by posting this, you sort of leave yourself wide open for derogatory comments on your skills, and the way you comment on immigration issues. I've often been critical of your work and thoughts, myself.

But if this will help you become a better writer and give you a better understanding of your subject, go for it, and good luck.

We'll see what you've learned when you return.

Anonymous said...

11:41 PM

Ah, that's right. If you disagree with a liberal's opinion or their philosophy, you're a 'hater'. (Wanna throw out the race card next?).

However if you're a liberal and condemn a conservative -- why, you're just more empathetic and 'worldly'.

God help us all...

abkirby said...

Be sure to include my viewpoint in the issues to be discussed.
issues: civil rights, enforcement, and the impact of immigration on the economy.
In the USA Civil rights belong to US citizens.
Enforcement is the sworn duty of government employees to enforce the laws of our nation.
Impact of immigration on the economy is devestating.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Franco!

I'd like to know what is being done to ensure the civil/human rights of those locked up in detention centers - like Pecos, TX?

What is being done to set up integrety units to oversee border patrol agencies which are riddled with corruption?

What is the correlation with the "war on drugs" and the rise in violence that we see in some border towns? Will there be money put into educational/rehabilitation efforts to stem the US consumer demand for the product?

Will there be money put in confronting the illegal immigration issue as a socio/economic one instead of a criminal justice one?

Just a few things I have been wondering about.

Anonymous said...

How about some insight into what the third-world cesspools to the south of our border are doing to help their OWN people (aside from letting them escape into the US)?

They seem to think they are all ENTITLED to whatever they can get here.

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad you are sharing this with your readers. We seldom understand how reporters get their information. This conference promises to be fueled with viewpoints...please report away. I'm interested in hearing where the discussion is moving and how other states are dealing with immigration challenges in their communities or not! I'm so glad the Observer and you are recongized for your courage in reporting both sides of the issue.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your trip and studies. I will not hate on you, but I do hope upon your return that you begin to post unbiased blogs about ALL immigration. All being the key word. There are awesome people in this country who are Legal immigrants. Immigration is our core, however Illegals devalue our core.

Anonymous said...

Good luck, Franco!

We are gonna miss you!
Estas guapo,ah!! (translate into English means "you are handsome")