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Reflecting on our first year; taking next steps

Doctors, nurses and medical students were among nearly 250 attendees at the Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit last fall at WHYY in Philadelphia. This group came from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.
The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting launched last spring but really began operating in August when founder Jim MacMillan began his residential fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.

Since then we hosted The Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit and a preliminary Community Conversations event, and we participated in other events including Klein News Innovation Camp and a gathering of the Germantown Info Hub.

So far, we have modestly supported 80 individuals in our diverse and growing network of journalists, researchers and community representatives.

We partnered to produce the Philadelphia Shooting Victims Dashboard, collaborated on a research project, launched a new web site, began producing this newsletter and opened multiple social media channels.

And we began operating as a nonprofit organization since being accepted for membership at CultureWorks in Philadelphia. That means we can now accept tax-deductible contributions. Visit:

In 2020, we will be working to:

  • Introduce a preliminary set of best practices for journalists covering gun violence, based on what we have learned so far, along with related resources.
  • Conduct a six-month survey of attendees to better assess the impact of the Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit.
  • Begin the work of transforming the Initiative into an enduring National Center for Gun Violence Reporting, through strategic planning, rebranding and development.
  • More research, more data and more events. Stay tuned.

If you build it

Attendees traveled to the Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit from The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as from Chicago, Orlando, Boston and more. Journalists also came from The Associated Press, Newsy and SB Nation, as well as from newsrooms in smaller cities such as Allentown and Flint. Most of our attendees came from along the Northeast Corridor and the largest cluster came from Philadelphia and surrounding cities and towns. There's more event info in our Report to Funders.

Listen in

Audio recordings are now available from every session produced by our presentation partners at The Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit. Listen for free online at SoundCloud:

Attendee survey

We sent an email invitation to participate in this anonymous survey to everyone who registered for the Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit and have received 66 responses. We asked attendees about the role of news organizations in gun violence prevention:
We were also looking for feedback on the summit and the reviews were good.

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 inform a new set of best practices for journalists reporting on gun violence and to explore the hypothesis that changing the way this issue is covered could prevent shooting incidents and save lives.

We have good reason to believe this work will make a difference. Your contributions will help make future events and research possible.

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