Vargas says being in country illegally made him a careful reporter

The Ithacan

Jose Antonio Vargas tells TinaMarie Craven that his decision to pursue a journalism career while in the U.S. illegally meant that "I was too paranoid to make a mistake, God forbid being charged with plagiarism or having a lot of corrections or people saying I needed to check a quote. ... And there are days where I think, yeah, I had to lie about my immigration status to get the jobs, but I don’t think my journalism — the work I produce — I don’t think people would question the quality of the work or the veracity of the work." Vargas also spoke at Yale on Thursday as part of his campaign to change the language of the immigration debate. || Related: Despite criticism, AP Stylebook dictates that journalists use ‘illegal immigrant’ (Poynter.org) || Earlier: Vargas’ revelations may be a victory for immigration advocates, but not for journalism (Poynter.org)

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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