Sunday, March 01, 2009

More on no exodus

It seems there is a template for stories about large numbers of Mexican migrants returning to their home country. A short article in Foreign Policy is the latest example, but I have noted several others in past weeks--they are all practically identical. If you would like to write your own, you just need to follow these simple steps, and you too can mislead the public and do everyone a disservice.

1. Start your story by finding one guy who will talk about leaving the U.S.

2. Use indirect indicators (like remittances) rather than direct ones (like academic studies or the Mexican government) because the latter will likely contradict you. In some cases it is easier just not to bother with statistics.

3. End your story with a paragraph that contradicts your first. Exactly why this is done is not yet clear to me. In this particular article, the author ends by interviewing someone who returned to Mexico, then decided to head back to the United States, thus screwing up the entire argument.

Done and done.

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