MCC Associate Professor Rodney Benson was presented with the International Journal of Press/Politics (IJPP) Best Book Award, sponsored by Sage Publications, at last week's 65th annual International Communication Association conference for his book Shaping Immigration News: a French-American Comparison (Cambridge University Press, 2013). It is the third book award Benson has received for Shaping Immigration News, after receiving the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and NYU Griffiths Awards in 2014.
The work was recognized by the committee as the best book in the past decade “that advances our theoretical and empirical understanding of the linkages between news media and politics in a globalized world in a significant way.”
In announcing this win, IJPP editor Rasmus Nielsen writes,
"Rodney Benson has for years excelled at writing both theoretical, methodological, and empirical pieces laying out his vision—and his practice—of what political communication research and journalism studies can be like and what it can accomplish….This is a terrific book, an inspiring book, and one that is important far beyond the study of immigration news or indeed the study of French and American journalism. This is a mixed-method, historically-informed, comparative analysis of news regimes that not only tells us how to do good research, but shows it, unfolding the theoretical, empirical, and normative implications of its findings."
In light of the tragic fate of migrants in the Mediterranean and beyond, Professor Benson has been a vocal advocate for more substantive press coverage of the underlying issues fueling global immigration. Referencing many of the themes in his 2013 work, Benson wrote recent pieces for both Le Monde Diplomatique and The Conversation examining the ways in which the press (both U.S. and International) frames the issue of immigration: "Instead of demanding objectivity, an impossible goal, we can ask of media coverage: Which frames were chosen? Which are missing? And why? Media frames help set the agenda for public debate. Different media frames ultimately suggest different policy solutions."