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Support Better Gun Violence Reporting in 2021

Here’s the idea

What if changing the way journalists report on gun violence could prevent shootings and save lives? The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting has been created to find out.

For 18 months, we have been gathering knowledge from local and national journalists, from researches working across a broad spectrum of disciplines and from community representatives with extensive lived experience.

They give us good reason to believe we can make a difference. Your contributions can help us advance more quickly.

Getting it done in 2020

Like everyone else, we canceled events and key partners postponed collaborations due to the pandemic, but we still hit our most important marks.

First, we published a preliminary set of best practices for journalists reporting on community violence, based on what we have learned from our collaborators. Visit:

Last summer we launched the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, which now resides within the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership at Community College of Philadelphia. Visit our new home page to find reporting resources and to learn about partners and programs:

In the fall we introduced the Credible Messenger Reporting Project to advance reporting on root causes and possible solutions to gun violence in Philadelphia. Community journalists and partnering professionals are building teams now and reporting will begin early in the new year.

We advised journalists and saw more newsrooms adopt our system for providing resources to survivors of gun violence, or devise their own. We advanced partnerships with old and new friends, including community, scientific and journalism communities.

We feel grateful and fortunate to report landing the first few grants making this work possible. Follow the links at the bottom of the Center's home page to learn about our funders:

Moving ahead in 2021

In addition to community reporting initiatives, we are reaching out to local and national newsrooms to learn more about gun violence reporting practices and will strive to deliver recommendations beneficial to all stakeholders.

At the same time, we are developing research to measure outcomes in reporting and then look for impact on rates of violence. Several additional research partnerships are also underway. And we assisted on one important study published recently.

We conducted surveys of our event participants and experts from across the country, largely reaffirming our observations and strategies.

Soon, a critical partner will announce their expansion into Philadelphia and their important new program building on some of our previous efforts. We can hardly wait to tell you all about it.

We are also discussing plans to produce a legal guide for journalists covering gun violence and prevention.

In addition to the community representatives and professional journalists supported by our reporting project, we also hope to add critical new positions at the Center. Stay tuned.

We are also grateful to supporters near and far who have been helping us prepare and implement a new development plan we hope will make it possible to continue this work for as long as it takes.

Reality check

Meanwhile, the situation on the ground is grim. Gun violence increased at unprecedented rates in large and small American cities during 2020. This crisis demands a comprehensive and sustained response.

While we admire every effort focused on reducing violence through intervention programs, legislative agendas or the pursuit of economic justice, The Initiative Better Gun Violence Reporting remains the first and only organization focused entirely on preventing gun violence by changing the how news get reported, what stories get told and by whom.

Please consider clicking the little green button below to support this work and help us make a difference.

Thank you,


Jim MacMillan
The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting
Donate Today!

Thank you to our supporters

The Center for Gun Violence Reporting was created with support from the Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund, thanks to the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund and the Independence Public Media Foundation, which also supports the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Founder and director Jim MacMillan launched IBGVR during his fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

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