When it comes to reporting on guns, local and regional reporters bear the primary burden. They are often trapped into narrow deadline-driven beats with little time to develop expert sources, investigative angles or broader perspectives. And newsrooms and news managers are unprepared for the overwhelming, spasmodic tragedy of mass shootings. As a consequence, incidents of gun violence are too often viewed in isolation as random, inevitable tragedy rather than part of a wider phenomenon with complex causes but amenable to prevention efforts.
When you hear gun owners and others talk about media bias, this is a prime example. The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma (the very name is a contradiction of terms), is holding a workshop, funded by Everytown For Gun Safety (Michael Bloomberg) to “…help journalists and news organizations in the Southwest improve their reporting on guns and gun violence.”
According to the Dart Center website, the workshop will:
- Serve as a forum for improving journalists’ knowledge of guns and gun violence, and the implications of public policies like background check requirements
- Explore new research, reporting ideas and best practices with leading public health and policy experts
- Confront challenges — and identify opportunities — that exist for local journalists pursuing these stories with limited resources
- Provide practical tools to enable journalists to successfully produce meaningful stories on guns and gun violence.
By the time attendees are done listening to the “national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors,” they will have learned to be more effective at pushing an agenda rather than accurately report facts and allowing the public to reach its own conclusions.
Fox News is often the first media outlet to be discussed as being “biased” but, here we have a supposed school of journalism (Columbia University) where allegedly, one is supposed to have a free “exchange” of ideas, that is openly and actively seeking to further indoctrinate the media into pushing one side, and only one side, of an issue. How is this not bias? How is this even remotely considered intellectually honest and ethical? Folks, as much as support for gun rights is reported at an all time high, make no mistake, we are facing a war of a lifetime going forward and the mass media is complicit in an effort to out right lie to the general public. That lie begins in schools when kids are young and continues through their professional lives as demonstrated here.