Melita Garza, Ph.D. is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of professional experience in national and international media. She has worked at the Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News, the McKinsey Quarterly in London and the Milwaukee Journal. She began her career as a reporter trainee at the Los Angeles Times.
Garza’s areas of expertise include journalism history, diversity, businesses and economic news, English- and Spanish-language news, the media and civil rights and literary journalism.
Areas of Expertise (9)
Businesses and Economic News
The Media and Civil Rights
English- and Spanish-language news
Fellow, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Journalism
Arizona State University
Margaret Blanchard Prize
For the outstanding dissertation in mass media history
Latino/Latin American Research (LARA) Award
AEJMC and Florida International University
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D., Journalism 2012
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business: M.B.A. 2007
Harvard University: B.A., Government 1983
- Association for Education in Journalism in Mass Communication
- American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) : Member
- Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS) : Member
- Journalism & Women Symposium (JAWS) : Member
- National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) : Member
- Oral History Association (OHA)
- American Historial Association (AHA)
- Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW)
- American Historical Association (AHA)
- Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)
Media Appearances (9)
Texas Matters: Too Much Plutonium At Pantex & The Great Depression, Deportation
Texas Public Radio online
The story is told in the book, “They Came to Toil – Newspaper representation of Mexican and Immigrants in the Great Depression.” It’s written by Melita M. Garza, a professor of media studies at Texas Christian University’s Bob Schieffer College of Communications.
How 3 Texas Newspapers Covered Mexican Deportation During The Great Depression
KERA News online
Along with the risks of poverty and unemployment during the Great Depression, Mexican immigrants and even U.S. citizens of Mexican descent faced an additional hazard: Around half a million of them were kicked out of the country to preserve jobs for white Americans.
Texas' Mass Mexican Deportation
KERA's Think radio
During the Great Depression, there was a push to preserve jobs for white Americans by deporting Mexicans – and in some cases, Mexican-Americans. TCU assistant professor Melita M. Garza joins us to talk about how this story was covered in the media and how that coverage contributed to racial “othering” of Mexicans in Texas. Her new book is called “They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representation of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression” (University of Texas Press).
Texas Matters with David Martin Davis
Texas Public Radio radio
Texas Matters with David Martin Davis, interview about book, Melita M. Garza, They Came to Toil: Newspaper Representations of Mexicans and Immigrants in the Great Depression, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.)
‘Think’ Like A Texan With These Interviews On Politics, Cowboys, Culture & Queso
KERA News online
Along with the risks of poverty and unemployment during the Great Depression, Mexican immigrants and even U.S. citizens of Mexican descent faced an additional hazard: Around half a million of them were kicked out of the country to preserve jobs for white Americans. If you didn’t know this, it could be because it wasn’t covered the same way by every news outlet. TCU’s Melita M. Garza studied how this story was covered by different newspapers and how that coverage contributed to racial “othering” of Mexicans in Texas.
The business of media
Activate World online
Interview of Melita M. Garza by Jon Mertz
‘Immigration is vital content’ for local Spanish-language papers
Columbia Journalism Review online
Before Donald Trump was elected, Mario Guevara—an immigration reporter at El Mundo Hispanico, the Atlanta area’s oldest Spanish-language print outlet—received a handful of calls each day from people dealing with immigration issues. Georgia is home to the country’s seventh largest undocumented immigrant population, estimated at 375,000.
Uber exec wanted to 'dig up dirt' on journalists
Uber, the popular ride-hailing service, has been open about its fight against the taxi industry, as well as against high-profile rivals like Lyft. Now one senior executive has considered adding another group to that list: journalists.
Book Review: "They Came to Toil"
C-SPAN Book Interview, "They Came to Toil"
The Mediated Jorge Washington: Father of Our CountriesJournalism History
Melita M. Garza
In the early years of the Great Depression, as Laredo's annual Washington Birthday Celebration entered its third decade, the bilingual Laredo Times crusaded for the cash-strapped city it served to keep staging yearly commemorations of the first U.S. president. This article analyzes 339 articles, photos, columns, cartoons, and advertisements that appeared in the Times between 1929 and 1934 to show how the newspaper created a cross-border public memory of George Washington for its increasingly desperate imagined community of transnational readers. Moreover, this article demonstrates the role of the Times in transforming the Washington celebration from its origins as an 1898 Americanization tactic of Anglo city fathers into a twentieth century regional, cultural, and economic vehicle that conceptualized "American" liberty as English and Spanish and Mexican and American.
Framing Mexicans in Great Depression Editorials: Alien Riff-Raff to HeroesAmerican Journalism
Melita M. Garza
2017 Great Depression editorials published in English- and Spanish-language newspapers in San Antonio, Texas, waged a war of ideas about the role of Mexicans and immigrants in the United States that went beyond socially constructing news events to another kind of storytelling—the mythmaking power of idea-driven opinion writing about “the other.” Against a backdrop of mass deportations and repatriations to Mexico, the city's three major daily newspapers staked dichotomous positions. William Randolph Hearst's Light railed against “the criminal menace,” competing against the independent San Antonio Express and its concept of the Mexican as “indispensable” worker hero. Meanwhile, the Spanish-language La Prensa offered a complex representation of the immigrant, creating a mythology that was largely absent from the mainstream media.
Legacy Media as Twitter Referee: Reframing Reaction to Sebastien De La Cruz's Anthem Singing at the 2013 NBA FinalsHoward Journal of Communications
Melita M. Garza
2017 Twitter exploded with controversy when child charro singer Sebastian De La Cruz performed the national anthem at the 2013 NBA finals. Across the United States and Mexico, print, TV, and radio covered the range of vitriolic and supportive Twitter reaction. This study found English- and Spanish-language legacy media acted as Twitter referee: disseminating, recasting, and rejecting negative tweets that framed De La Cruz and Latinos as illegitimate anthem interpreters. The author argues that this reframing is in keeping with an abiding ethic of American journalism to avoid stereotyping.
Sword and Cross in San Antonio Reviving the Spanish Conquest in Depression-Era News CoverageJournalism History
Melita M. Garza
2014 Remembering and capitalizing on San Antonio's Spanish colonial empire became a pastime and a policy of the Alamo city and its dominant English-language newspaper during the Great Depression. While Spanish nostalgia had antecedents in the late nineteenth century's conservation sensibilities, it reached an apogee in San Antonio during the years 1929 through 1934. This period coincided with the deepest recessionary period of the Depression decade, a time when antiimmigrant sentiment and anti-Mexican sentiment flourished.
Pine Straw in an Evil Wind: A Study of James Boyd and the Pilot of Southern Pines, NC, 1941–1944American Journalism
Melita M. Garza
2013 This study of novelist James Boyd and the Pilot of Southern Pines, North Carolina, during the World War II years widens the notion of what a country weekly editor can be or can do. In the shadow of Pinehurst, the renowned and tradition-bound golf resort, Boyd rescued his failing hometown weekly newspaper, editorializing in favor of an early entry into the war, civil rights for blacks, and equal rights for women. He also called for adherence to free speech and the Bill of Rights amid a national climate increasingly intolerant of dissent. Contrary to previous scholarship on the southern country weekly, this article about the Pilot shows that not all were conservative and anti-New Deal. It also shows that noteworthy journalism and commentary were not the exclusive province of the nation's major metropolitan dailies. Boyd's newspaper work during the pivotal pre-Pearl Harbor period in 1941 through his death in 1944 at age 55 is illuminating, demonstrating how an editor might negotiate the proper role between journalism and the government and readers in wartime.