Amid a national debate over bias media coverage, the Tallahassee Democrat took the time to write a story about 30 protesters calling for the end to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department. ICE is the government agency responsible for securing borders.
The article covered more than half a page in the Sunday edition of the paper and provided one side of an issue that is sure to become another controversial component of the emotional debate over illegal immigration. The article failed to provide any context to the protest.
What the Tallahassee Democrat reporter who penned the article would of found with just a little research is a poll released last week by a former Bill Clinton adviser showing that 69% of registered voters do not favor disbanding ICE.
The poll has been cited by a number of news outlets, including NPR.
The poll question about ICE was asked this way:
Do you think that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, known as ICE, should be disbanded or not?
The poll indicated that 69% of the respondents answered “Not Disbanded”, while 31% answered “Disbanded.”
Adding this information to an article highlighting a relatively small protest seeking to disband ICE would have provided balance to a controversial issue that could further sensationalize the illegal immigration debate.
Not including this information leaves many readers the opportunity to conclude that this is an important movement with wide support.
The question appeared in a Harvard-Harris poll by former Clinton pollster and strategist Mark Penn. It was conducted June 24-25, with 1,448 registered voters.
The poll revealed other interesting findings on the illegal immigration debate that Tallahassee Reports will include in a separate report.