New. Needed. Now. – Asking Questions with Dr. Jessica Beard.

By Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting | December 7, 2022

Stoneleigh Fellow Jessica Beard was featured by Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting for her research on the potentially harmful effects some journalism strategies can have on gun violence.

Imagine you’re watching the local news. The familiar anchor shares stories of death by suicide. She shares names and details the methods used. Then, quickly, she pivots to an expected snow storm or the upcoming Eagles game.

Today, this seems absurd. It has become the norm that media outlets do not report on individual deaths by suicide. Instead, the issue is covered, appropriately, as a public health matter. Additionally, stories generally include links to resources for readers, recognizing that the subject matter can be traumatizing. In fact, explicit journalistic standards now guide reporters in how to engage with the topic. But, this was not always the case.

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