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Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia

Weekly Brief on Gun Violence Prevention in Philadelphia
Each week we share news from our Center plus updates on gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia from our partners at Billy Penn.

Above: Youth mentor Ant Brown, at left, meets with by B. McFly.
Above: Youth mentor Ant Brown, at left, meets with by B. McFly.
The latest production from the Credible Messenger Reporting Project is now available in its entirety at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting: These Philly Gun Violence Activists Are Not Giving Up On Saving Lives
Brandon Chastang, better known as B. McFly, recently interviewed several prominent figures in Philadelphia’s gun violence prevention community in this series of videos. WHYY gun violence prevention reporter Sammy Caiola was the professional partner on this project and Chris Mansfield was the Credible Messenger video producer.
The Center is now accepting applications to participate in the next round of the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. [PCGVR]
Credible Messenger screening and more
Our new Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison Oronde McClain also recently completed his own Credible Messenger Reporting Project: They Don’t Care About Us” or Do They?
Next Tuesday, Oronde is hosting his own event which will include a screening but also a panel discussion, live performances and an awards ceremony to thank his film crew and special awards for other survivors, co-victims and heroes.
Proceeds will benefit the McClain Foundation, which provides accommodation for children who are receiving medical care due to gun violence and suffering from mental illness and PTSD. [themcclainfoundation.org]
Proceeds will benefit the McClain Foundation, which provides accommodation for children who are receiving medical care due to gun violence and suffering from mental illness and PTSD. [themcclainfoundation.org]
Role of the media
Responding to this month’s gun violence outbreak in Philadelphia
“Half of the people who get shot in Philadelphia never make the news.” - Our Director or Research Dr. Jessica Beard spoke with with All Things Considered. [NPR]
• Some headlines in the wake of June’s South Street tragedy failed to acknowledge how often physical violence in Philly escalates into gunfire. [Billy Penn]
• It’s never the wrong time to consider the gun violence and prevention reporting tips gleaned from the journalists, researchers and community representatives who participated in our Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit just before the pandemic. [IBGVR.org]
Cities United
“When the news does cover [gun violence], if they cover it, it’s not our narrative…we can tell our story.” Aaliyah from Harlem

Last week, some of our Young Leaders sounded off, telling their experiences with media, how they are portrayed and how they hear their stories told. https://t.co/uedehGYXHi
Weekly Brief from Billy Penn
By the numbers
50: People shot in Philadelphia during the seven-day period ending Sunday night, according to the weekly major crimes report published Monday by Philadelphia Police.
64: People shot in Philadelphia during the same seven-day period ending Sunday night, according to Philadelphia Police data posted Tuesday at Open Data Philly.
1,275: Total shooting victims recorded this year in Philadelphia as of Tuesday. At least 264 have died.
290: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through last night.
125: Year-to-date total homicides reported to Philadelphia Police through the same date in 2014.
87,689: Firearms sold in Pennsylvania last month, up 12 percent from the previous month and up five percent vs. the same month last year.
659: Women shot in Philadelphia since 2020. More than 100 have died.
1: Less than 1% of stops & frisks lead to the recovery of a firearm.
New research
• Parents are open to talking about gun safety measures with their children’s pediatricians and willing to change firearm storage practices. [Penn Medicine News]
• A study using data on young people found guilty of serious crimes in Phoenix or Philadelphia found strong evidence that gun carrying is highly episodic. [Inside Higher Ed]
Solution of the Week
• Project Unloaded started to run campaigns focused on reaching young people on social media with the simple message that they’re safer not using guns. The initial results offer a path forward. [Newsweek]
In memoriam
Police recorded 48 murders in June; here are the victims' names
• This newsletter has been produced thanks to funding awarded through the Directors Grant Program of the Barra Foundation.
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The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

Better gun violence reporting could enhance public understanding and support for effective programs and policies to prevent shootings and hopefully save lives. But what does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like?

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting was launched to explore the hypotheses that changing the practice of news reporting can prevent gun violence. Since then, our research has refined this focus by identifying harmful reporting practices, asking what best practices would look like and how they could be implemented. Now, we have organized our work into three closely-aligned programs:

CREDIBLE MESSENGER REPORTING PROJECT

Our community reporting project trains, compensates and empowers people impacted by gun violence in Philadelphia to produce and distribute news reports on its root causes, their lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective, with guidance from professional journalists.

RESEARCH AT THE CENTER

Our interdisciplinary research collaborative is exploring the intersection of gun violence, impacted communities and the media. Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica H. Beard is a trauma surgeon who cares for gunshot patients at Temple University Hospital and researches public health at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Her work is supported by a three-year Stoneleigh Foundation Fellowship.

BETTER GUN VIOLENCE REPORTING

Our professional development program strives to help journalists covering gun violence find a more diverse selection of experts, the most reliable data, evidence-based solutions, inspiring past reporting, strategies for community engagement, professional networking opportunities and additional resources. Representatives from every major Philadelphia news organization have participated.

VISION

We strive to model ourselves after other organizations that have dramatically advanced the practice of journalism. Within five years, we hope to support a small staff with a long runway for continuing operations and a strategic plan for sustainability.

Until then, we plan to continue supporting voices from the community, publishing research that informs best practices and building networks of journalists who believe we can all do better, make a difference and stop the violence.

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