4. Disrupt misconceptions

Knowing what is widely believed but false is important. Provide information to dispute misinformation.

There is little consensus on the definition of a “mass shooting.”

Most gun deaths are suicides. The second highest category of gun-related death is interpersonal violence, and mass shootings ranks third. Surveys show most news consumers think the opposite is true.

Outbreaks of community gun violence can place the same strain on healthcare systems as a mass shooting but seldom receive the same amount of news coverage.

Learn the difference between mental illness and dangerous behaviors. The latter may lead to violence while people with mental illness are more likely to be victims.

The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting was created to inform a set of best practices specifically intended for journalists reporting on community gun violence. This is the fourth post in a series introducing our seven-step guide, based on what we learned during our inaugural Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit.

Previous posts in this series:

1. Earn your place in the community

2. Remember who and what is important

3. Recognize the complexity of the topic

The complete guide will reside here: Reporting on community gun violence? Here’s what to do

You can learn about the panelists and listen to every session online for free. Visit: The Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit

The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting was organized by Jim MacMillan is his role as a fellow with the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Above: The team from Guns & America presented a session they called “Reporting with Authority: Knowing the Research, Knowing the Vocab.” (Listen)