Covering Gun Violence: A Poynter Conversation

Course Overview

Covering Gun Violence: A Poynter Conversation
Because we believe so strongly in helping journalists handle this important topic, this $29.95 event is free.
Originally Broadcast On:
June 23, 2016
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Conversations

Join us in our virtual studio as Poynter faculty and other veteran journalists discuss issues about the craft and values of the profession. This live videocast also gives you the opportunity to join the conversation, submitting your own questions and responding to poll questions posed by the host.

This Conversation was originally broadcast on:
June 23, 2016 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Conversation in its entirety. This Conversation recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

With all the coverage around the gun violence and mass killings, how do you make sense of the issues for your audience and tell stories with accuracy, depth and context?

This Poynter conversation explores strategies for journalists who want to cover this complex problem in ways that connect in their community. You will hear from several journalists who have done a remarkable job and have the chance to ask questions to guide your own reporting.

We will help you sort through simplistic sound bites and clarify some issues including these:

  • Most mass killings involve some connection to domestic violence / mental illness. They are not public killings like Orlando.
  • There are millions of AR-15s in circulation, legally purchased.

We won't be talking about gun terminology, Second Amendment issues and legislation. If you want that, check out our other webinar, Telling Smarter Stories About Guns.

Today we will give you information you won't find elsewhere. And you can follow the conversation on Twitter using #covergunviolence.

What Will I Learn:
  • How to cover the topic with context and accuracy
  • How to debunk myths about gun violence
  • How to avoid "he said/she said" reporting and dig deeper
  • How to avoid the pitfalls in using crime statistics without context
Who Should Take this Course:

Reporters, editors, producers, photojournalists, bloggers and anyone who wants to give their audience a better understanding of the issue.

Course Instructors:

Al Tompkins

Al Tompkins is Senior Faculty/Broadcast and Online at The Poynter Institute. He is the author of Aim for the Heart: A Guide for TV Producers and Reporters, which is being used by more than 130 universities' journalism departments around the world., and the Poynter NewsU course Reporting, Writing for TV and the Web: Aim for the Heart. He is also the author of Telling Memorable Video Stories, a video tutorial series at Poynter's NewsU. You can join the more than 10,000 people who follow him on Twitter at @atompkins.

Tompkins has more than 40 years of experience as a journalist, writer and journalism teacher who teaches in seminars at Poynter and workshops and conferences around. He has been a presenter at national conventions for IRE, RTDNA, NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA, Unity, NLGJA, PRNDI and NPPA. Since 1998, he has taught seminars and workshops in 48 states and four countries.

Jodi Upton

Jodi Upton is the Senior Database Editor at USA TODAY, where she leads the database team in analysis on stories on everything from product recalls to economics to Sports contracts. Her team supports breaking stories, longer projects and everything in between, as well as data-driven interactives. She was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University and is a visiting scholar at Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center. She previously worked at the Detroit News and other Gannett newspapers.

Meghan Hoyer

Meghan Hoyer is a data journalist at The Associated Press, where she analyzes data and helps disseminate national data sets to reporters across the country, guiding them to find local stories in the numbers. She previously worked at USA TODAY and The Virginian-Pilot.

Kathleen Kingsbury

Kathleen Kingsbury is editor of the Ideas section at The Boston Globe. In this role, she also serves as a deputy managing editor for the paper. She joined the Globe’s editorial board in 2012 and most recently was deputy editorial page editor. Prior to that, Kingsbury was staff writer and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent for Time magazine. She has also contributed to the New York Times, Reuters, the Daily Beast, BusinessWeek, and Fortune.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

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Download the free Adobe Connect app from iTunes here. To access the live event, click on the "Join Live Event Now" button on the Webinar landing page. The virtual room will automatically load. Viewing recorded Webinars on iOS devices is not currently supported.