Two new studies led by PCGVR research director examine local TV news coverage of gun violence

Above: Researchers participating in the interdisciplinary collaborative led by Dr. Jessica Beard met recently at Temple University Hospital to discuss future studies. Photograph for PCGVR by Kriston Jae Bethel.

Two new studies led by PCGVR Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard have been published:

Systematic disparities in reporting on community firearm violence on local television news in Philadelphia, PA, USA [Preventive Medicine Reports]

Public health framing of firearm violence on local television news in Philadelphia, PA, USA: a quantitative content analysis [BMC Public Health]

“News stories may be the only window into community firearm violence that the general public has, and they often are not getting a complete picture, but instead one that research has indicated can lead audiences to blame victims, reinforce racist stereotypes and undermine effective public health responses.” – PCGVR Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard.

Press release and contact info: Two New Studies Led by Lewis Katz School of Medicine’s Dr. Jessica Beard More Closely Examine How Reports of Community Firearm Violence Are Framed on Local Television News in Philadelphia [Temple Health News]

Above: PCGVR Director of Research Dr. Jessica Beard leads meeting of PCGVR interdisciplinary research collaborative at Temple University Hospital on April 12, 2024. In top photo from left are: Dr. Christopher Morrison, Assistant Professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Raha Raissian, Medical student at Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine; Siena Wanders, Medical student at Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine; Dr. Beard, Dr. Anita Wamakima, Temple General Surgery resident; Dr. Jennifer Midberry, Associate Professor at Temple University Klein College; Dr. Evan Eschliman, Post-doctoral research fellow at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; and Tyrone Muns, Temple nurse and research assistant. Photographs for PCGVR by Kriston Jae Bethel.

Hundreds attend Philadelphia premiere of The Second Trauma documentary

PCGVR newsroom liaison Oronde McClain takes a question from host Loraine Ballard Morrill. Photograph for PCGVR by Kriston Jae Bethel.

Hundreds of people joined us at the Temple Performing Arts Center on April 17 for the Philadelphia premiere of The Second Trauma, our documentary addressing the harmful effects of episodic gun violence news reporting and possible solutions, produced in collaboration with the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting at Temple University.

To learn more, see photos, listen to the panel discussions and request a screening: Hundreds attend Philadelphia premiere of The Second Trauma documentary  

Master class on gun violence prevention reporting

02.09.24: PCGVR research director Dr. Jessica Beard joined this National Press Club webinar with Jennifer Mascia from The Trace and Abené Clayton of The Guardian, moderated by Kaitlin Washburn of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Chicago Sun-Times: Covering Firearm Violence — How journalists can reframe their reporting.

Steeped in journalism, lived experience and academic research

01.10.24: The core team behind The Second Trauma, our new collaborative short documentary, was invited to speak in Philadelphia at the Crime Coverage Summit organized by the Radio Television Digital News Association and National Press Foundation, with support from Arnold Ventures. Scroll down to watch trailer from The Second Trauma and learn about screening opportunities.

Certification workshop feedback, outcomes and next steps

02.16.24: PCGVR director Jim MacMillan and Alaina Bookman of discussed our recent Gun Violence Prevention Reporter Certification Workshop in this webinar hosted by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

PCGVR programs

We had a breakout year in 2023, leveraging new and renewed funding to expand our staff, convene more events, provide support to more than 80 community experts and professional journalists, collaborate with more than 30 organizations, publish our first study and share findings from more. YEAR IN REVIEW

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 Project

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

Interdisciplinary research colllaborative

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

Most of the photographs on this site: by Kriston Jae Bethel for PCGVR.

Weekly Brief: 05.30.24

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

This week: An interview with our research director. Fewer Memorial Day weekend shootings. Violent crime is near a 50-year low. New national crime data resource.

Read More

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.

Weekly shooting victim update

Twenty-four shooting victims were recorded from May 19 through May 25 in Philadelphia, including three fatalities, according to city data. During the previous week: 13 shooting victims were recorded, also including three fatalities.

Watch the trailer: The Second Trauma

The Second Trauma documentary tour is underway. We are visiting colleges and universities, journalism conferences, newsrooms and other organizations. To request an exclusive screening and expert panel discussion, visit:

PCGVR director of research leading new NIH grant

A new two-year, $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health builds on previous research from PCGVR research director Dr. Jessica Beard, pictured at top, right above during a meeting of our research collaborative in 2022. She will be joined in the study by Prof. Jennifer Midberry at Lehigh University, seated at left above and Prof. Christopher N. Morrison at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. READ MORE

New project: The Survivor Connection

When our latest project launches, Philadelphia journalists will have free and swift mobile access to community-based expert sources including gun violence survivors, co-victims and other impacted individuals.

People with lived experience will have access to paid training in trauma and media literacy and may opt in and out of participating in the expert source program at will.

The Survivor Connection project is led by PCGVR Newsroom Liaison and survivor Oronde McClain, pictured above, thanks to support from his Stoneleigh Foundation Emerging Leader Fellowship. LEARN MORE | CONTACT US


• About the Center
• Who We Are
• Community Reporting
• Interdisciplinary Research
• Professional Development
• Media Mentions
• Free Weekly Brief

• 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
• 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

Need help in Philadelphia?


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.)

Mailing address

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


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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