Centering the Voices of Firearm Survivors in Media

The Challenge

Nearly 12,000 people have survived gunshot injuries in Philadelphia since 2015. Yet research indicates that half of all shooting incidents go completely unreported in the news. Few victims of gun violence have the opportunity to engage with journalists and speak for themselves. At the same time, journalists have frequently reported difficulty in finding survivors to interview.

The Project

Through this Emerging Leader Fellowship, Oronde McClain will work with the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting (PCGVR) to identify, recruit, and support survivors of firearm violence who will make themselves available to local journalists via a secure, digital directory. The directory will provide reporters with swift access to credible sources and enable them to incorporate survivors’ ideas and stories into coverage of Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis.

Specifically, this Fellowship will enable Oronde to:

  • Design a participant recruitment and onboarding process, including the development of an online participant registration process; a data-gathering plan; and a curriculum focused on media training, public health, and trauma.
  • Recruit survivors of firearm violence to participate in The Philadelphia Gun Violence Survivor Connection, leveraging digital platforms, organizational partners, and extensive staff and survivor networks.
  • Invite local journalists to access The Philadelphia Gun Violence Survivor Connection and hold quarterly meetings with reporters and survivors to foster learning and relationship-building.

Oronde McClain, BS

Emerging Leader Fellow

2023 – 2025

Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting


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