Communities Affected by Gun Violence: What They Want Journalists to Understand

Journalists are faced with the difficult task of reporting on gun violence in a manner that serves the public good but does not compound the trauma of victims. Debates about how to strike this delicate balance take place continually in newsrooms and journalism classrooms. Yet, too often the direct input of those most affected by gun violence are not included in these discussions. In this session, Dr. Midberry presented findings from a focus group study that explores how victims of gun violence in Philadelphia perceive local media coverage of the issue and how they think such reporting can be improved.

Jennifer Midberry, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of journalism at The Media School at Indiana University. Her research focuses on ethical issues related to photographing vulnerable people, empathic and other affective responses to photojournalism of social issues, and visual stereotypes, with an emphasis on depictions of Islam and the Middle East in U.S. media. She currently teaches Visual Communication and Photojournalism courses. Previous to her academic career, she worked as a photojournalist and photo editor at organizations such as the Philadelphia Daily News, Associated Press, AOL News, and ABC News.