Last month at PCGVR

Above: Last month alone, our staffers visited the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Tufts University and Washington and Lee University in person. We Zoomed into 27 US newsrooms with the Poynter Institute and to present our research at the Guggenheim Symposium on Crime In America. And we did about 1,000 more good things. MORE INFO

So far this year, our team has visited with: The Center for Media and Risk and SAFELab at the University of Pennsylvania • Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute • The Institute for Storycraft and Information Gathering at Tufts University • The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication • The International Communications Association • The National Association of Black Journalists • The Online News Association • Poynter Institute for Media Studies • The Law & Justice Journalism Project • • Report for America • Guggenheim Symposium on Crime In America • The Council on Criminal Justice • The Full Frame Initiative • The Schemel Forum at the University of Scranton • Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation • The American Psychiatric Association • The Stoneleigh Foundation • Emerson College • Swarthmore College • Washington and Lee University • Temple University • University of California San Francisco • Medical College of Wisconsin • The University of Colorado • The Ohio State University • The New York Amsterdam News • FOX 29 News Philadelphia • The Philadelphia Inquirer • NBC10 Philadelphia • WURD Radio • WHYY News • The Trace • Power 99 • WDAS

We are proud of our progress and excited to contribute significantly to addressing Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis while shaping journalism practices along the way. But we need your help.

First look: PCGVR certification workshop

Photographs by Kriston Jae Bethel for PCGVR

We convened our first Gun Violence Prevention Reporter Certification Workshop last week in the Cope House at the Awbury Arboretum in the East Germantown section of Philadelphia.

Twenty-five journalists and 15 community-based gun violence prevention experts participated, including journalists from four other cities and two national news organizations. All participants received certificates identifying them as PCGVR 2023 Gun Violence Prevention Reporting Fellows.

The workshop was led by Prof. Jennifer Midberry of Lehigh University and Manny Smith of Yahoo News, who have both played critical roles in our organization’s development since inception. Our director of research Dr. Jessica Beard also presented as well as Prof. Yvonne Latty, director of the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting at Temple University.

The curriculum was informed by our own research, live events, virtual brainstorming calls and listening sessions convened during the past four years, including responses from journalists who report on gun violence, community representatives with extensive lived experience, journalism educators from several universities and our multidisciplinary research collaborative.

We plan to scale up this workshop nationally in the spring and you can stay up to date with our plans by subscribing to our free Weekly Brief email newsletter.

PCGVR joins gun violence narrative change group at Harvard

Above: PCGVR Credible Messenger Community Manager Maxayn Gooden, at right, speaks with Clementina Chery of Boston’s Louis D. Brown Peace Institute at Harvard University.

We sent a team of four to the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Transforming Narratives of Gun Violence: A Cross-city Approach Accelerator Workshop, including Dr. Jessica Beard, Maxayn Gooden, Prof. Yvonne Latty and Jim MacMillan. We met with other organizations addressing harmful gun violence narratives in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis and more places, and we will report on next steps as this consortium takes shape.

PCGVR research update at Guggenheim Symposium

PCGVR journalism research advisor Dr. Jennifer Midberry of Lehigh University discussed research conducted by participants in our multidisciplinary collaborative on a news reporting panel during the Guggenheim Symposium on Crime In America hosted by the Center for Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in October. WATCH THE  MIDBERRY TALK | WATCH THE WHOLE PANEL

Oronde McClain named Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellow

Above: Oronde McClain speaks during our first Credible Messenger Film Festival in 2022.

The Stoneleigh Foundation has announced that our newsroom liaison Oronde McClain has been selected among their 2023-2025 Emerging Leader Fellows.

Oronde will lead new project here at PCGVR, titled: Centering the Voices of Firearm Survivors in Media, and in this role will be working to identify, recruit, and support survivors of firearm violence who will make themselves available to local journalists via a secure, digital directory.

The Stoneleigh Foundation has been Addressing Philadelphia’s Gun Violence Epidemic through a growing portfolio of investments focused on gun violence prevention in recent years, also supports our director of research and Stoneleigh Fellow Dr. Jessica Beard and has been essential to our growth and impact.

Slideshow: PCGVR goes to the University of Pennsylvania

Staffers from the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting were invited to discuss Reporting Gun Violence: Media, Ethics and Community Intervention at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, thanks to an invitation from the Center for Media at Risk and the SAFELab at the Annenberg School for Communication. Photographs by Kyle Cassidy: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. VIEW THE SLIDE SHOW

New podcast episode takes a deep dive into our research and more

The It’s All Journalism podcast digs into our work with our director of research Dr. Jessica Beard. LISTEN

PCGVR team takes part in Save Our Streets: The Survivors

A new report from Save Our Streets host Bill Anderson on Fox 29 Philadelphia features several of our staffers and key partners sharing their personal stories of survival.

Watch it now: Save Our Streets: The Survivors

From left above: PCGVR intern Dashawn Walker, Armond James, PCGVR community manager Maxayn Gooden, TJ Walker, Angela Wade, PCGVR newsroom liaison Oronde McClain, Bill Anderson of FOX 29 and Curtis Singleton. Armond and TJ are participating in current PCGVR Credible Messenger projects and Armond and Angela will appear in the upcoming documentary The Second Trauma, hosted and co-produced by Oronde.

Recognizing lived expertise and hard work

Left to right: Oronde McCain, Dashawn Walker and Maxayn Gooden.

Congratulations to our new intern Dashawn Walker and staffers Maxayn Gooden and Oronde McClain, each of whom has been recognized with the Lenfest Next Generation Award. Four other new recipients are also past, present or incoming participants in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project.

Dashawn is a Shippensburg University student from Philadelphia and has joined in our efforts to end harmful news reporting and raise the voices of survivors, like himself. The Lenfest Next Generation Fund has also supported our previous interns Sheila Hodges and Maria Mitri.

Incredible August full of PCGVR making national conference appearances

We had an incredible August at PCGVR, making the case for better gun violence reporting on panels at three national conferences, culminating with the Online News Association (ONA) Conference here in Philadelphia. READ MORE

Collaborating with journalists

Our Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison Oronde McClain and our new Lenfest Next Generation Intern Dashawn Walker were interviewed for a special report from NBC10 this week: Philly gun violence survivor overcomes his trauma, uplifts other victims

We are grateful to NBC10 for joining in us in the pursuit of more empathetic, ethical, impactful reporting in gun violence and prevention. WATCH THE VIDEOS

Slideshow: 2nd annual Credible Messenger Film Festival

We gathered at Temple University on July 29 for our Second Annual Credible Messenger Film Festival, this time screening several short documentaries from some of our favorite partnering organizations, each followed by panel discussions including some of the producers, participants and other media experts. VIEW THE SLIDESHOW

More than 40 people attended our first Credible Messenger Link-Up and Info Session on May 6 at Temple University. We hope to launch five new reporting teams in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project soon and the first step is to apply. MORE PHOTOS AND INFO

Photographs by Kriston Jae Bethel

Sharing our story

Our team joined the Full Frame Initiative and another special guest recently to discuss how solutions might be unlocked by fundamentally shifting the way we talk about gun violence. The panel included Maxayn Gooden, Oronde McClain and Jim MacMillan from our Center as well as Cheryl Thompson-Morton, Black Media Initiative Director at the Newmark J-School at CUNY, and was moderated by Tanya Tucker, Chief of National Engagement and Partnerships at the Full Frame Initiative.

Survivor perspectives

Reliving the trauma. Frustrated with inaccuracies. Feeling dehumanized. These were just some of the harmful effects that gun violence survivors described when asked how they perceived news media reporting about their injuries and about gun violence in their communities.

“Like I’m a nobody:” firearm-injured peoples’ perspectives on news media reporting about firearm violence was published recently in Social Science and Medicine: Qualitative Research in Health. READ MORE

PCGVR research and program update

We recently had the opportunity to present our work to the Firearm Injury Prevention Institute at the University of Colorado.

Stoneleigh Foundation webinar

Our team participated in “Changing the Narrative on Gun Violence: The Role of Media,” from the Stoneleigh Foundation. WATCH THE VIDEO

Better Gun Violence Reporting Workshop

Nearly 60 Philadelphia TV news journalists, community leaders and other experts came together to imagine how we can lead the way in our city to advance the most ethical, empathetic and impactful reporting possible. READ MORE

Healthcare journalism summit

Our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard introduced our work at “Reporting on Violence as a Public Health Issue,” a summit organized by the Association of Heath Care Journalists. Listen:

Get to know us

Our director of research Dr. Jessica Beard discussed our work on Trauma Code at WBAI in New York.

Credible Messenger Reporting Project audio documentary

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. LISTEN: BEHIND THE SCENES INTERVIEWS

Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit

We organized the inaugural Better Gun Violence Reporting Summit at WHYY in Philadelphia shortly in late 2019. Nearly 250 people attended from around the city and across the nation. VIEW THE INTERACTIVE AGENDA

Community Conversations Day

In advance of the Summit, we invited 15 Philadelphia journalists who play some role covering gun violence to spend a day with 30 residents from core communities impacted by the problem in the city. READ MORE


We are proud of our progress this year and excited to contribute significantly to addressing Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis while shaping journalism practices along the way. But we need your help.

Weekly Brief: 11.29.23

Each week we share news from our Center plus local updates on gun violence and prevention from our partners at Billy Penn.

This week: PCGVR Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard will lead more advanced research “Examining Racial and Spatial Disparities in Harmful News Media Reporting on Community Firearm Violence” with support from a two-year, $450,000 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, in her role at Temple’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Read More

Latest weekly report

Thirty-three shooting victims were recorded from November 19 through November 25 in Philadelphia, including ten fatalities, according to city data mapped above. During the previous week: 19 shooting victims were recorded, including four fatalities. More info: Philadelphia Shooting Victims Dashboard

Zooming into 27 newsrooms with The Poynter Institute

Thanks to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, our staff had the opportunity to present our work to 27 news organizations currently participating in their seven-month course: Transforming Crime Reporting Into Public Safety Journalism. Clockwise from top, left: PCGVR community manager Maxayn Gooden, director of research Dr. Jessica Beard, newsroom liaison Oronde McClain and director Jim MacMillan.

Getting noticed

We’re feeing honored to find our staffers and colleagues named among the Most Influential Philadelphians of 2023 by Philadelphia Magazine. We’ll put this recognition to work.

PCGVR research director honored

Congratulations and thank you to our research director Dr. Jessica Beard who was recognized with the Pina Templeton Injury Prevention Award by the American Trauma Society and the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation on October 19 in Harrisburg for her competition presentation on our work here at PCGVR, which will accept the prize.

Philadelphia press club honors PCGVR with Philly News Award

Credible Messenger community journalists P.O.C. and Kim Kamara picked up the plaque when our Center was recognized as “Nontraditional News Provider of the Year” in the 2023 Philly News Awards from the Pen and Pencil Club, Philadelphia’s press club. We accept this honor on behalf of the dozens of gun violence survivors, co-victims and others who have participated in our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Apply now to participate.

Explained: Curbing Gun Violence With a Public Health Approach

PBS Vitals interviewed our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard, our research partner Dr. Sara Jacoby and Philadelphia gun violence prevention community leader Zarinah Lomax to produce this report on taking the same approach to gun violence that has eliminated diseases and reduced smoking deaths and car crashes.

Our programs

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting was launched to explore the hypotheses that changing the way some journalists and news organizations cover gun violence can prevent shootings and save lives. Since then, our research collaborative 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: Our community 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 independent news reports. READ MORE

RESEARCH AT THE CENTER: We facilitate an interdisciplinary research collaborative that is exploring the intersection of gun violence, impacted communities and the media. Our Director or Research Dr. Jessica Beard presented our work last spring at the SAVIR conference in Washington. Dr. Jennifer Midberry presented at ICA in Paris. READ MORE

BETTER GUN VIOLENCE REPORTING: What does the most ethical, impactful and empathetic reporting look like when covering community gun violence? We collaborate with journalists, community representatives and other experts to advance reporting practices. READ MORE


• About the Center
• Who we are
• Better Gun Violence Reporting
• Credible Messenger Reporting Project
• Research at the Center
• Trauma & Care
• Data Catalog
• Philadelphia Data
• Media Mentions
• Free Weekly Brief
• Support the Center
• Search this site
• Send us a Message

• Have you been affected?
• Need help now?
• In memoriam

• The Stoneleigh Foundation
• Independence Public Media Foundation
• Spring Point Partners
The William Penn Foundation
• Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund
• The Lenfest Institute for Journalism
• The Alfred and Mary Douty Foundation
• Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri
• Philadelphia Office of Violence Prevention
• The Barra Foundation Directors Grant Program

In-kind contributors
• Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists
• Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri
• Mothers in Charge
• AH Datalytics
• Action Tank
• The Scattergood Foundation
• Resolve Philly
• Fels Lab at the University of Pennsylvania

Community Partners
• Mothers in Charge
• YEAH Philly
• Zero Homicides Now
• Need in Deed

Media Partners
• WHYY & Billy Penn
• The Trace & Up the Block
• Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists
• 5 Shorts Project
• Kouvenda Media
• Seeking Solutions: Gun Violence in Missouri
• Philadelphia Obituary Project
• Resolve Philly, Broke in Philly, The Toll and the Germantown Info Hub
• WURD Radio
• Columbia Journalism Review
• The Student Vanguard at Community College of Philadelphia
• Revive Radio

Summit partner institutions
• Reynolds Journalism Institute, University of Missouri
• Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma as Columbia University
• The Lenfest Institute for Journalism
• The Trace
• The Guardian: Guns and Lies
• Coalition of Trauma Centers for Firearm Injury Prevention
• Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions
• Guns & America, WAMU
• Mothers in Charge

Credible Messenger Reports
• They Don’t Care About Us – or Do They?
• Stronger Every Day: Healing After Gun Violence
• These Philly Gun Violence Activists Are Not Giving Up On Saving Lives
• Humanity behind the headlines: Black men on surviving in Philly
• Never Ending Emotions
• The Lasting Impact: The emotional scars that gun violence leaves behind
• The Path Forward
• Numb to Normalcy: Gun Violence in America
• Voices Beyond the Gunfire

• Apply to become a Credible Messenger community journalist
• Apply to become a Professional Reporting Partner
• Request to invite Professional Reporting Partner
• Resources for Credible Messenger Reporting Teams
• Credible Messenger Project Proposal Form
• Frequently asked questions

Local data
• Philadelphia Shooting Victims Dashboard
• Philadelphia Shooting Victims: Past 48 months
• Philadelphia and Pennsylvania open data and related resources

Healing through storytelling

Before joining our staff, Oronde McClain produced a report for our Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Then, he wrote about his experience for The Philadelphia Inquirer, titled: I was shot in the head as a child. It took 20 years, and other survivors, to heal

Changing the way we talk about gun violence

Above: Our journalism research leader Dr. Jennifer Midberry of Lehigh University discusses our research collaborative while visiting Temple University

She also wrote an update for the Temple University Faculty Herald. READ IT NOW

PCGVR in the news: 2023

11.07.23: Children who survive shootings endure huge health obstacles and costs [CNN]

10.29.23: The 150 Most Influential Philadelphians [Philadelphia Magazine via @PCGVR]

10.26.23: TNGV convenes accelerator workshop at Harvard Radcliffe Institute []

10.23.23: When Gun Violence Is in the News: Reporting on Tragedy, Mass Violence, and Police Shootings [John Jay College via YouTube] (PCGVR segment begins at 10:00.)

10.04.23: Announcing Our 2023-2025 Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellows [Stoneleigh Foundation]

09.24.23: Save Our Streets: The Survivors [FOX 29]

09.10.23: Amid gun violence crisis, Philadelphia may be safer than people think [Billy Penn]

09.06.23: Philly gun violence survivor overcomes his trauma, uplifts other victims [NBC10]

08.25.23: Meet the new winners of the Lenfest Next Generation Award [The Lenfest Institute]

08.03.23: How media reporting on firearm violence does more harm than good [It’s All Journalism]

06.19.23: Why Some Mass Shootings — And Their Victims — Go Uncounted [The Good Men Project]

06.13.23: Understanding the ‘public health’ approach is first step in effective reporting on firearm violence [Association of Health Care Journalists]

05.25.23: Curbing Gun Violence With a Public Health Approach [PBS VItals]

05.17.23: Why Some Mass Shootings — And Their Victims — Go Uncounted [Undark]

04.12.23: Evening WURDS: interview with our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard [WURD Radio via Facebook] (Segment begins at 30:00.)

04.03.23: Reframing Gun Violence: Wellbeing & Narrative Shift [Full Frame Initiative]

03.15.21: Changing the Narrative on Gun Violence Reporting in Philadelphia [CU Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative]

03.01.23: True Believers [Philadelphia Magazine]

02.28.23: From Sorrow to Solutions – Virtual Convening [New York Amsterdam News]

02.23.23: These Philadelphia Researchers Want Journalists to Tell Better Stories About Gun Violence [The Trace]

01.29.23: Changing the Way Media Reports on Gun Violence [Consider This on NPR] (Segment begins at 4:05.)

01.17.23: A new gun violence narrative [The Philadelphia Citizen]

01.10.23: ‘Like I’m a nobody’: Breaking news coverage of shootings is dehumanizing and delays progress, per new Temple study [Billy Penn]

01.09.23: Evening WURDS: interview with our Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard [WURD Radio via Facebook] (Segment begins at 27:45.)

01.05.23: Save Our Streets: A Year of Hope [FOX 29] (Segment begins at 16:14.)

New. Needed. Now.

This campaign will profile those working with The Center to advance empathic, ethical, and impactful journalism through research, improved journalistic practices, credible messenger reporting, and solutions-oriented convenings about Philadelphia’s gun violence crisis . Please consider making a gift today.

New. Needed. Now. – Purposeful Partnership with Yvonne Latty

During this campaign, we’ve profiled a gun violence survivora researcher, and a mother who lost her son. But, to improve media coverage of gun violence, we need members of the media at the table as well. READ MORE

New. Needed. Now. – Asking Questions with Dr. Jessica Beard.

One day, when you watch the local news, you might not see those pictures of chalk markings and police tape. You might think back to the time when episodic coverage of violence – rather than a public health approach – was the norm. You might even wonder why things changed. READ MORE

New. Needed. Now. – Endings and Beginnings with Maxayn Gooden

She helps build healing communities. She keeps her son’s legacy alive. And, much of that great work has roots in the days following Jahsun’s death. READ MORE

New. Needed. Now. – Oronde’s Time of Transformation.

Many people already know Oronde McClain’s story. In fact, Cherri Gregg of WHYY is one of the journalists that has shared it. Shortly after being interviewed by Cherri, Oronde returned with a different request. He wanted her help doing some of his own reporting. READ MORE

Mailing address

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
c/o The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting
CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia
1315 Walnut Street, Suite 320
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Philadelphia Shooting Victims Dashboard

Dashboard built by AH Datalytics, LLC. Source: Open Data Philly. Support: IBGVR, RJI & PABJ. Free to embed. You can help.


If you or someone you know is suicidal, in crisis, or in need of general mental health support, please know help is available. You can contact your physician, local hospital emergency room, or any of the hotlines, text lines, web chats, and support groups listed below. Most are free and confidential resources. Many are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
Crisis Text Line: 741741
• Lifeline Chat web chat service
Samaritans’ Helpline: (877) 870-4673 (available in 240+ languages)

Journalists: Take this online course on Responsible Reporting on Suicide. (You can audit for free or pay to get certified.)


The Philadelphia Center Gun Violence Reporting is the primary 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.


Each Wednesday morning we share news, research, data, opinions and community responses related to gun violence and prevention in Philadelphia. You can subscribe for free.


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