Media and Guns
KeepAndBearArms.com -- Gun owners don't much appreciate the bias of
the press on gun issues. In the vast majority of stories, media types get the
numbers wrong, demonstrate gun ignorance or only tell one side of the story. How
much of this is willful distortion of facts to advance an agenda is debatable,
but it is to the advantage of everyone who favors truth to ensure that the media
knows about guns. An uninformed reporter who refers to an M-1 Garrand as
"an assault rifle" may be simply ignorant. But when an informed
reporter makes the same mistake, it is patently obvious to all that negligent
ignorance or even intentional deception has caused the error.
So how do we hold reporters to a higher
There's a simple three-step process that can
help put your local media on the right track.
up the media resources in your area.
- Send email expressing your concern over
media inaccuracies about guns. Keep it short, friendly and direct.
- Reference (and provide a link for) the Arizona
Star article on how the Star is revising its gun coverage. This will
give the media sources a short guide to some things they can do to improve
the accuracy of their coverage.
That's easy, isn't it?
There is actually a 4th step. Keep your eyes
and ears open for any incorrect coverage in the media. When you hear or see it,
use the media resource lookup to call
the manager and ask why the news report contained false information and
which of the steps to improve accuracy which are suggested by the Star article
have been adopted by the media source. It might help to have a copy of the Star
article in front of you so you can run them off one at a time. Here is the list
of actions the Star chose to pursue:
- Develop a formal course in firearm
basics. Crime and court reporters,
photographers, copy editors, team leaders and others in the newsroom who
wish to participate will get a hands-on introduction to firearms, proper
terminology and major laws involving guns.
- Analyze content to identify bias.
Undertake an in-depth review of hundreds of articles published in the past
three years that mention firearms, with a view toward identifying bias and
finding ways to prevent it in the future.
- Revise publication and style
guidelines. A senior editor and a copy
editor have been assigned to review our use of firearms terminology in news
stories, to make necessary revisions and to establish new style guidelines
where none exist.
- Create an expert-source directory.
A directory of firearms experts is being developed and will be added to our
electronic resources file for use by reporters.
- Increase outdoor sports coverage.
The staff is exploring ways to provide more stories about recreational
activities including the shooting sports.
Every time you hear a significant error or
omission, it's time to call again.
Offer to send them a copy of the recently
published Gun Facts.
And tell your friends about this strategy so they can participate.
If the errors are particularly egregious, you
may wish to record them and make a formal complaint for entry into the station
station's public file. (Here's
a short description of that process.)
A Bit of Proof about Media Bias Against Guns