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Research highlights need for public health approach in news reporting of gun violence

By Naseem S. Miller, The Journalist's Resource | June 25, 2024

Stoneleigh Fellow Jessica Beard was featured by The Journalist’s Resource for publishing new research about the public health framing of gun violence in Philadelphia news.

For decades, researchers have urged journalists to avoid framing gun violence solely as a crime issue and provide a broader public health context. Yet, as evidenced by the findings of a recent study of local TV news in Philadelphia, the focus on the crime angle remains very much at the forefront of gun violence coverage.

The researchers’ call for change was further underscored on June 25, when the U.S. surgeon general declared firearm violence a public health crisis for the first time in a 40-page advisory, calling on the nation to take a public health approach to address gun violence, much like it has done before to address tobacco and car crashes.

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