Mark your calendars: The Credible Messenger Film Festival is coming soon!

Above: Scenes from some previous Credible Messenger Reporting Project screenings.

Please make plans to join us for the first-ever Credible Messenger Film Festival on August 28th and 30th in the Cope House at Awbury Arboretum in the historic Germantown neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia. We will screen every video production we have supported to date and it’s free to attend.

The Credible Messenger Reporting Project empowers people impacted by gun violence to report on root causes, lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective. Credible Messengers are paired with advanced professional journalists to learn from each other and leverage their combined authority to produce and distribute news reports, with financial support provided by the Center. More info: Credible Messenger Reporting Project

Each screening will be followed by a panel discussion including some of the community journalists, producers and professional partners behind each mini-documentary as well as some of the people who appeared.

The events will be hosted by Maxayn Gooden, Credible Messenger Community Engagement Manager here at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, and Oronde McClain, our Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison.

A free buffet will be available in the tent outside. Masks will be provided and required during the indoor screening. Free parking is plentiful.

When: August 28, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. and August 30, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: The Cope House at Awbury Arboretum. (Directions / Google Maps)

Register for one or both dates now: Credible Messenger Film Festival

(Looking for info about our upcoming Better Gun Violence Reporting Workshop? Send us a message.)


ICYMI: Last month at PhilaMOCA

Families who have lost loved ones to gun violence were honored at the conclusion of the event.

Full house packs in-person premiere of “They Don’t Care About Us”

Above: Last month’s in-person premiere of “They Don’t Care About Us,” which was produced with support from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project, was part of a larger program organized by the Oronde McClain Foundation. Oronde McClain hosted, Maxayn Gooden moderated panel discussions and Maria Mitri, who joined us this summer with support from the Lenfest Next Generation Fund, reports.

Inside the Credible Messenger Reporting Project

In this conversation, our Community Engagement Manager Maxayn Gooden interviews Ernest Owens about participating in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Ernest is the Editor-at-Large at Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He has been working on this project with gun violence prevention activist Tyrique Glasgow. Maxayn was also a Credible Messenger community journalist in our first cohort last year.

Latest production from the Credible Messenger Reporting Project

These Philly Gun Violence Activists Are Not Giving Up On Saving Lives

Brandon Chastang, better known as B. McFly, interviews several prominent figures in Philadelphia’s gun violence prevention community in a series of videos he recently produced for the Credible Messenger Reporting Project here at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. WHYY gun violence prevention reporter Sammy Caiola was the professional partner on this project and Chris Mansfield was the Credible Messenger video producer. Above: Youth mentor Ant Brown, at left, is interviewed by B. McFly. Read More

In this extraordinary and intimate new conversation between two mothers who have each lost a son to gun violence, our community engagement manager Maxayn Gooden interviews Kimberly Kamara about her experience participating in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project.

Kimberly produced “Never Ending Emotions,” a short documentary featuring a series of interviews which address the emotional rollercoaster of life-changing events following the murder of a family member and discuss possible solutions to gun violence in Philadelphia. Maxayn was also a Credible Messenger community journalist in our first cohort last year.

New audio documentary from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project

Tashawn Strother, a community journalist from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project, hosts an audio documentary sharing her family’s journey after her son Walter Willis was shot and critically wounded on New Year’s Eve in 2019. Voices include our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard, who is also the trauma surgeon who cared for Walter – and Walter himself. Thanks also go to the Independence Public Media Foundation, The Stoneleigh Foundation and Kouvenda Media. Listen now:

Behind the scenes: Dr. Jessica Beard

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard was interviewed by Anthony Orozco at WITF about her role in “Stronger Every Day: Healing After Gun Violence.”

Deeper Dive: Dr. Jessica Beard

Now you can also listen to the full 30-minute conversation between Anthony Orozco at WITF and our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard about her role in “Stronger Every Day,” but also on what drives her, our current research, some preliminary findings and better news reporting practices.

Oronde McClain recently joined our staff as the Center’s first Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison but earlier this year he produced the documentary streaming above: “They Don’t Care About Us” or Do They?” – with support from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Cherri Gregg of WHYY was the professional partner on the project and last week she interviewed Oronde about their collaboration. Listen now:

Project update

Thanks to new and continuing funding from the Independence Public Media Foundation, the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting is now accepting applications for a third cohort in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. This initiative empowers people impacted by gun violence in Philadelphia to report on root causes, lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective. Credible Messengers are paired with advanced professional journalists to learn from each other and leverage their combined authority to produce and distribute news reports. Financial support is available for all participants. More info: Credible Messenger Reporting Project

Research at the Center

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard introduced new research from our collaborative in Washington on March 31 during the annual conference held by SAVIR, the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.

The Center hosts an interdisciplinary research collaborative that is exploring the intersection of gun violence, impacted communities and the media. More info: Research at the Center

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard is the corresponding author of a new study reporting that more women and children were shot, especially Black women and children, following the enactment of COVID-19 containment policies.

Study: Preventive Medicine | Press release: Temple Health


Better Gun Violence Reporting

What does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like when covering community gun violence? Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard participated in this media panel addressing the role and responsibilities of the media. Click to play now, read about the event at Billy Penn and feel free to embed this video from YouTube.

The featured speakers and moderators for the conversation included:

Ernest Owens, President, Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (Moderator)
Denise Clay-Murray, Reporter/Editor, The Philadelphia Sun
Jessica Beard, Trauma Surgeon, Temple University Hospital and Director of Research, Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
Tyrique Glasgow, Founder, Young Chances Foundation
Mazzie Casher, Director, PHILLY TRUCE, Inc. & Co-Creator, PHILLY TRUCE APP
Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight, Founder & National Executive Director, Mothers in Charge
Beatrice Forman, Digital Culture Journalist, Billy Penn (Digital Q&A Moderator)

READ MORE

Then and now: Events at the Center

We are presently planning our first in-person events in some time. Just before the pandemic, we organized the Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit. Please take a look:

Multimedia Agenda | Audio | Experts | Hashtag | Notes | Photos | Press | Recap

Community conversations

In preparation for our inaugural Summit in 2019, we invited 15 Philadelphia journalists who play some role covering gun violence to spend a day with 30 residents from deeply impacted communities.

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?

Have you been affected?

Up the Block is a free guide to tools, resources and people who can help those affected by gun violence.

In memoriam

We hope that data and information we provide may prove useful but we never forget that we are talking about real people. Learn about individuals lost to gun violence in Philadelphia and opportunities to remember someone you loved: In memoriam.

Need Help NOW?

The City of Philadelphia operates a 24-hour telephone hotline to assist people and their families dealing with behavioral health emergencies at (215) 685-6440. More info: healthymindsphilly.org

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Making our work possible

Ethical transparency

In a deliberate departure from the standard practices of journalism, the Center permits community journalists participating in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project to compensate people in their stories for their time with funding we provide.

We are mindful that the Society of Professional Journalists calls this practice “checkbook journalism” and argues that it “undermines journalistic independence and integrity and threatens the accuracy of the information that is purchased.”

We have entered into this experiment in response to informal but extensive community stakeholder research indicating that equitable compensation primarily communicates respect and that trust may be undermined when the source is the only person in the process not receiving compensation.

This message adheres to the SPJ Code of Ethics guidance stating that journalists should explain ethical choices and processes to audiences. Please use the form below if you would like to respond.


Make a Difference: Support the Center

Thank you for making your way to the bottom of our home page. Your attention and concern mean the world.

We launched The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting two years ago to explore the hypothesis that changing the way journalists and news organizations report on gun violence could prevent shootings and save lives.

We organized a community reporting project to shift power to people with lived expertise, a professional development program to support journalists already covering gun violence and a research collaborative which has been refining our focus by identifying harmful reporting practices and asking what the ideal, most ethical and impactful reporting on gun violence might look like.

Now we are focused on implementing what we have learned, synthesizing our programs for maximum impact and sustaining the Center for years to come. We are proud of our progress and but the gun violence crisis only worsens and we need your help. Please consider making a recurring tax-deductible contribution today.

Please visit: ibgvr.wedid.it


Organization

The Philadelphia Center Gun Violence Reporting is project of The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting. The Initiative is co-managed with fiscal sponsorship by CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia and is a member of CultureWorks Greater Philadelphia.

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