Nearly 30 journalists spent seven days reporting from key locations at the center of America’s migrant crisis
MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With the country facing a record-breaking surge of immigrants amid a years-long political debate, the USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), today launches a comprehensive report revealing the scope of America’s immigration challenge.
The USA TODAY NETWORK brings the full strength of its nationwide news coverage to “The Migrants,” a special digital and video journey through a week in the life of immigration in America. Nicole Carroll, USA TODAY’s editor-in-chief, said the reporting was as ambitious as it was unprecedented.
“The story at times is overwhelming, but so is what is taking place at our border,” Carroll said. “As journalists, we say all the time, ‘show, don’t tell.’ Our goal was to transport our readers to scenes of the crisis, not just tell them what happened.”
With concurrent reporting from four countries, eight states and across the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, “The Migrants” reveals a system on the brink of collapse. It witnesses families facing death, and traces the influx to its roots, the decades-old challenges in Central American countries that are now exacerbated by new American policies.
“The Migrants” distinguishes itself from previous coverage of immigration, both in its timing and its scope. What’s happening in immigration in America is not happening in single moments – it’s happening all the time, a torrent of movement and conflict that the USA TODAY NETWORK is uniquely poised to capture.
“This project crosses both physical and language barriers to share stories that will help people understand the breadth of this crisis and encourage discussions about its consequences and solutions,” said Carroll. “I am so proud of the team of journalists who remained committed to working so hard on this project well beyond the week-long effort on the ground.”
The reporting effort meant deploying more than two dozen journalists across the continent. For a week, they watched migrants prepare to leave Central America; crossed rivers and waited at military checkpoints in Mexico; found desperation in shelters in Mexico City and at the border; followed Border Patrol agents as they found families and children in the backcountry; and traveled by bus and plane with families who had been released to make their own way into the United States.
From June 24 to 30, the teams from across the USA TODAY NETWORK traveled more than 20,000 miles, including to the highlands of Guatemala, the National Palace in Mexico City, both sides of the border from California to Texas, immigration courts in Los Angeles and the lawmaking chambers of Washington, D.C.
Field reporting is the centerpiece of a project that also draws on years of data and policy expertise. “The Migrants” reveals that the crisis is much broader and violent than has been previously reported; it is resulting in deaths, trauma, violence, crime and previously untold costs. Reporters reveal how much local tax money American cities now spend caring for migrants the federal government abandons. And they trace the roots of the surge, in part, to a crackdown on the heroin trade.
“The Migrants”, with its unique combination of investigative reporting and real-world narrative, leverages some of the same journalistic talent behind USA TODAY NETWORK’s Pulitzer Prize-winning project “The Wall: Untold Stories, Unintended Consequences.”
“The Wall,” which examined Trump’s campaign promise to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. “The Wall” was led by The Arizona Republic and other newsrooms along the border where journalists have personal connections and decades of experience covering the topic. Journalists from local news sites and USA TODAY collaborated on “The Migrants,” combining their expertise and deep experience in covering immigration issues to deliver a report that should resonate with national and international audiences.
The full findings of the report, including a documentary video with in-depth interviews, can be found at themigrants.usatoday.com.
About USA TODAY NETWORK
USA TODAY NETWORK, part of Gannett Co, Inc. (NYSE: GCI), is the largest local-to-national media organization in the country, powered by our award-winning newsrooms and marketing solutions business. With deep roots in local communities spanning the U.S. with more than 100 brands, plus USA TODAY, we engage more than 125 million people every month through a diverse portfolio of multi-platform content offerings and experiences. For more information, visit www.gannett.com.
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