To avoid polarization, don’t say “gun control” when you mean “gun violence prevention.” Some terms may also perpetuate stereotypes. If you’re covering gun violence, learn about guns.
Consider the impact of your reporting. Could it lead to less violence or might it risk inciting more? Be mindful of how the reporting may impact survivors, families, and communities affected by gun violence.
Reach out and encourage communities to participate in the reporting process. Convey how this will result in better reporting and bring more attention to the stories they want told.
Knowing what is widely believed but false is important. Provide information to dispute misinformation.
Complicate the narrative! Complexity makes people more curious. Try to make people think, rather than telling them what to think. Recognize that living with complex social, behavioral, economic, and community circumstances can perpetuate violence.
Put community narratives first. Center stories around victims — and humanize them. Begin by taking a look in the mirror. Recognize who you are, own your biases, and do the work to unlearn them.
Nothing is more clear than the need and responsibility of journalists to do the hard work of earning trust in impacted communities.
We have been reviewing everything we learned during the Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit, including transcripts and audio recordings, reporting notes on audience questions and answers, news media coverage, social media feedback, preliminary research findings and follow-up surveys.