Dramatic readings from: “Like I’m a nobody”

This presentation was produced by Philadelphia filmmaker Shameka Sawyer and her 5 Shorts Project in collaboration with, and with support from the Credible Messenger Reporting Project at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting.

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.

That’s according to a new study from a collaborative of Philadelphia researchers coordinated by our Director of Research, Dr. Jessica Beard.

“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.

Twenty-six gunshot patients participated in this study. Of these, half were aware of TV, newspaper or social media coverage of their shooting though none had been interviewed by a journalist.

Because researchers are required to protect the anonymity of study participants, we are sharing what they said — word for word — in dramatic readings by other Philadelphians affected by gun violence.

The harmful reporting illuminated by this study demonstrates the need for ethical guidelines and recommendations for best practices specific to covering gun violence.

To read the complete study, learn how it was conducted and about the team, please visit The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting, at: PCGVR.org.

This video was produced by young people who have also been personally impacted by gun violence, working for the Bout Mine I Matter program at the 5 Shorts Project.