An associate professor at Texas Christian University, Dr. Melita Marie Garza holds a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She has authored multiple peer-reviewed articles and contributed a chapter to the textbook, Cross-Cultural Communication. Dr. Melita Garza’s first book, They Came to Toil, hit bookstore shelves in February of 2018.
The book, They Came to Toil, focuses on the newspapers of San Antonio, Texas, during the Great Depression. In a misguided effort to save the jobs of Anglo-Americans, the Hoover administration instituted policies that led to roughly half-million deportations between 1930 and 1939.
They Came to Toil takes an in-depth look at the different ways that the three Depression era San Antonio newspapers represented Mexicans/immigrants and covered the issues that most concern them. In the end, the book presents the sympathetic coverage of the Spanish-language La Prensa in stark contrast to the two English-language papers, the San Antonio Express and the San Antonio Light, when it came to immigration issues. They Came to Toil goes on to investigate the implications of the English-language papers’ journalistic decisions in terms of the “othering” of Mexicans and Mexican Americans. This important book shows how much of the anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican language of today has roots in mediated tropes of days gone by.
An award-winning author and journalist, Dr. Melita Marie Garza is an associate professor at Texas Christian University. Among her recent activities, Dr. Melita M. Garza spoke about publishing her first academic book, They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression, at the American Journalism Historians Association Annual Convention.
Committed to advancing research and education in mass communication history, the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) traces its roots to 1981. Serving students and media history professionals, AJHA welcomes individuals to join as members. Here are some of the benefits of belonging to AJHA.
1. Access AJHA awards and grants. Members may receive honors for their service, teaching, and research through AJHA awards. Additionally, they may achieve funding for future projects through its grant programs.
2. Get advice and support from other media history scholars. Each year, AJHA hosts multiple events that bring together like-minded scholars with the opportunity to receive encouragement and professional suggestions on current projects.
3. Tap into AJHA media history resources. These resources provide a range of tools and tips for researching and teaching mass communication history.
Dr. Melita Marie Garza is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. Since 2013, she has served as an associate professor at Texas Christian University, where she has taught courses on business journalism, diversity and the media, and media history. As part of her work as a professor, Dr. Melita M. Garza maintains memberships in organizations including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
Alongside its education programs for students, teachers, and administrators, AEJMC oversees public initiatives as part of its efforts to promote journalism and freedom of communication. In 2014, the organization launched National News Engagement Day, which takes place every year on the first Tuesday in October.
Former AEJMC president Paula Poindexter proposed the national initiative to encourage more people to consume and discuss the news. The initiative also highlights the importance of a free press and why it’s critical for citizens in a democratic society to stay informed.
Since its launch on US college campuses, News Engagement Day has grown into a global event celebrated in classrooms and by news organizations around the world. In 2018, the event falls on Oct. 2. To learn more about how to get involved, visit newsengagement.org.
A distinguished researcher and speaker who has appeared on Texas Public Radio and C-Span Book TV, Dr. Melita M. Garza has earned honors such as the Latino/Latin American Research (LARA) Award. Alongside serving as associate professor at the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University, Dr. Melita Marie Garza published They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression.
A historical journalistic work, They Came to Toil investigates the forced deportation of Mexican immigrants in the 1930s under President Hoover in order to shed light on current issues. Part of the Long Civil Rights Movement, these events received substantially different portrayals in different news sources at the time.
For example, the Mexican newspaper La Prensa reported on individual stories, offering a compassionate look at immigration issues. The San Antonio Express, on the other hand, included varied responses from vilifying immigrants to promoting Mexican labor. They Came to Toil examines these different responses and the historical context, thereby revealing perspectives on immigrants that affect current issues.