It's no secret that most editors and reporters working in the print and electronic media are vastly uneducated regarding the nomenclature and basic understanding of firearms and how to describe and identify them accurately. Further, a general prejudice about guns and persons who own and use them is equally prevalent among many of those working in the Fourth Estate.
Not only are firearms advocacy groups and supporters of the Second Amendment acutely aware of the lack of firearms knowledge among journalists that regularly results in misreporting and inaccurate portrayals of guns and gun owners, so are the some of the country's most notorious anti-gun groups.
The Phoenix-based Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, an affiliate of the Columbia Journalism School, recently announced a two-day workshop to be held April 17-18 for working journalists, covering the subjects of guns and "gun violence." The program is available for up to 30 reporters, editors, bloggers and other writers. Travel stipends of up to $350 and two nights of lodging are offered for 15 selected participants.
A press release for the workshop notes it has been made possible through a "generous grant from Everytown for Gun Safety," an organization bankrolled by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Everytown for Gun Safety was the primary organization behind Washington state's Initiative 594, approved by voters in the November general election and requiring universal background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms. It is also involved in the effort to place a similar ballot issue before voters in Nevada and other states.
Promotional material for the upcoming program for journalists in Phoenix reports it will include "national public health and policy experts; researchers and clinicians; award-winning journalists, and prevention advocates and survivors." Deliberately lacking from the curriculum is any firearms training, education or appearances from industry or pro-gun groups.
Further, in true Bloomberg fashion, the workshop promises to:
- Serve as a forum for improving journalists' knowledge of guns and gun violence, and the implications of public policies like background check requirements
- Explore new research, reporting ideas and best practices with leading public health and policy experts
- Confront challenges—and identify opportunities—that exist for local journalists pursuing these stories with limited resources
- Provide practical tools to enable journalists to successfully produce meaningful stories on guns and gun violence
Having largely failed in his bid to buy last November's elections, is Bloomberg now turning his considerably resources to furthering the anti-gun indoctrination of his 'approved' press corps? It shouldn't take an investigative reporter to figure out the answer to that question.