Can journalism that centers community help stop shootings? PCGVR is betting on it

By Maria Mitri, Billy Penn | November 28, 2022

Stoneleigh Fellow Jessica Beard was featured by Billy Penn for her work with Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting to change the way media report on gun violence.

Newsroom veteran Jim MacMillan paused, his eyes scrolling the ceiling in thought as he combed through decades of experiences, memories, and tragedies. Finally, he reached a number: at least 2,000 — a rough estimate of how many shootings he reported on during his 17-year tenure as a photojournalist at The Philadelphia Daily News.

At the time, he believed this reporting functioned as a public service, and assisted, at least to some degree, in the awareness of gun violence and potential prevention of it.

But he increasingly began to question the way it was done.

“Sometimes it felt toxic and I wondered if it was harmful,” MacMillan said. “And sometimes we’d get complaints from the community.”[…]

Beard, a Stoneleigh Foundation fellow, will participate in a virtual convening next Tuesday, Dec. 6, to discuss this research and the role of the media in general. (It’s free to attend, RSVP here.)

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