Focus Immigration Project Trends Worldwide

Immigrant students celebrating
Steve McCarthy

Immigration issues resonate on campus since many students here are first-generation immigrants or related to first-generation immigrants. On April 10, School of Communication and Media students explored the topic with a multimedia #FocusImmigration and #MyImmigrantStoryIs “thunderclap” campaign, which included students’ and students’ families’ immigration stories.

At one point in the day, the thunderclap’s hashtag was trending internationally on Twitter and involved students from all of the School’s program areas.

The project – which included everything from the Montclair News Lab’s live statewide broadcast of a student-conducted interview with freshman Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill about immigration issues to a social media campaign – was the brainchild of Head of Journalism and Television/Digital Media Tara George.

“Students felt that in this era of fake news, responsible journalism was required to tell the truth about all the nuances of immigration,” George says.

For Mark Effron, School of Communication and Media professor and clinical specialist, the “thunderclap” was an exciting opportunity for students to gain real-world experience. “For someone like me who has been in media my whole career, it was a joyful experience to see students embrace the project and make it even bigger.”