Guns are a sad fact of life in American culture and are a constant topic in modern journalism. A good Journalist has a duty to get involved and make a difference in this important societal debate.
By following certain guidelines, the concerned Journalist can be assured of having the maximum impact on this shameful problem. The concepts discussed here apply to both broadcast and print media. For the purposes of this guide our work is divided into routine stories about gun violence and coverage of the political debate about gun control. They are both equally important. Let us first address the proper way to construct a news story involving common gun crimes . . .
COMMON GUN CRIME STORIES
The purpose of routine gun crime coverage is to create the impression of a continuing, growing and terrifying tidal wave of gun violence. Your goal is to plant the fear of guns in the minds of ordinary people, fear for themselves and especially for their children.
The first and most critical principle to remember is that subtle use of terminology can influence the reader. For example, when describing a gun crime, victims must be shot “by” a gun, not “with” a gun. This may seem like a small detail, but it helps establish the principal that guns are responsible for crime.