The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting

You are here


The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting





Organization Overview:

The Initiative for Better Gun Violence Reporting was created to advance a set of best practices for journalists reporting on the topic and to explore the hypothesis that changing the way this issue is presented can prevent shootings and save lives. The Initiative was launched in 2019 by longtime Philadelphia multimedia journalist Jim MacMillan during his fellowship at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri. The Initiative convened events in Philadelphia to inform and publish a reporting guide. Now, the Initiative is launching a new Center for Gun Violence Reporting at the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership at Community College of Philadelphia. The Center will improve reporting on community gun violence by collaborating with journalists and local organizations to raise voices from neighborhoods and broaden the range of expert sources quoted in stories while de-emphasizing the predominant law enforcement narrative.

Programs developed at the Center will include community training sessions on issues such as media literacy, finding better sources, and holding civic leaders accountable. The Center will also create opportunities for members of affected communities to meet with traditional journalists and for everyone to learn from each other. Building these trusting relationships will empower vulnerable populations to tell, publish and distribute their own stories. This will help community gun violence to be addressed as a public health challenge that can be eradicated with intervention, education and the pursuit of economic justice. The mission of the Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership is to foster a culture of engagement and collaboration that promotes experiential learning and capitalizes on the strengths of students, faculty, staff and partners to make a positive difference on social justice issues.

Community College of Philadelphia is an open-admission, associate-degree-granting institution which provides access to higher education for all who may benefit. Its programs of study in the liberal arts and sciences, career technologies, and basic academic skills provide a coherent foundation for college transfer, employment and lifelong learning. The College serves Philadelphia by preparing its students to be informed and concerned citizens, active participants in the cultural life of the city, and enabled to meet the changing needs of business, industry and the professions. To help address broad economic, cultural and political concerns in the city and beyond, the College draws together students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds and seeks to provide the programs and support they need to achieve their goals.

The Initiative is presently co-managed with Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia, a charitable trust that offers fiscal sponsorship services and simplifies, streamlines, and professionalizes the business needs of mission-based organizations.

Project Name:

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting
Project Type: 
Strategic Plan

Project Overview:

The Center for Gun Violence Reporting needs a strategic plan to maximize short-term and long-term impact for reducing violence through interventions in news reporting. At the same time, the Center needs an economic plan to ensure  sustainability, foster growth and support replication.

The Center would look to the Fels Lab student to help assess priorities, determine the feasibility of individual goals and define the scope of the strategic plan but we know we could use help in the in the following areas:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Needs assessment
  • Stakeholder directory
  • Relationship management
  • Directory of funding leads
  • Development of staff roles
  • Strategy local vs. national impact
  • Analysis of comparable organizations
  • Collaboration and partnership strategy
  • Marketing and communications strategy
  • Statements of mission, goals and values
  • Breakdown of goals, priorities and tasks
  • Practical, actionable recommendations

Project Timeline: The general project cycle from January through August feels perfect overall. Monthly updates would be helpful as well as the student's guidance on scheduling periodic deliverables.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326