“New Media and the ‘Anchor Baby’ Boom” (co-authored with Gabe Ignatow). Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 17(1):60-76

Ignatow, Gabe & Williams, Alex T.

The term ‘anchor baby’ refers to children born in the U.S. to undocumented migrant parents who are thought to have been conceived in order to improve their parents' chances of attaining citizenship. Though the term is considered racist and dehumanizing by many, it has recently entered into common usage. This study investigates the process by which this has occurred. We test hypotheses derived from theories of mass and new media using multiple data sources and methods of analysis, and find that the main sources of the anchor baby boom are partisan news websites. The findings suggest that new media may be influencing mass media by creating unique and unprecedented opportunities for medium-sized partisan news organizations.