Tags : guns

AUDIO: How to track and report on gun violence

There is no perfect or universal way to classify a mass shooting. As such, reliable, nuanced data on the topic is sparse. And further complicating the reporter’s job is the way even the most human stories can become fuel for the right-versus-left fire.

It’s with these challenges in mind that three reporters and researchers came together at the 2014 IRE conference. Patricia Carbajales, who has worked on Stanford University's journalist-friendly database on mass shootings that dates back more than 45 years, and Mark Follman, a senior editor at Mother Jones who led an award-winning investigation on mass ...

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IRE Radio Podcast | Cracking the Crime Stats

Welcome to another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. On this week’s episode we’re talking about crime – everything from fact-checking police stats to building databases to track gun violence.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Michael Berens of The Seattle Times gets things started with a story about an odd beam of light, some dead rabbits and a police chopper.
  • Debra Juarez, news director at NBC 5 Chicago, talks about the ethics of naming suspects involved in a prostitution sting.
  • Steve Thompson of the Dallas Morning News and Ben Poston of the Los Angeles Times explain how to spot red ...
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How to use CDC data to report on gun deaths

Dan Keating of the Washington Post used the CDC Wonder database to explore the racial breakdowns of gun deaths. What he found challenges the idea of having a gun for protection — at least for some.

"A white person is five times as likely to commit suicide with a gun as to be shot with a gun; for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are killed by other people with guns."

Learn how to use the same CDC data to investigate causes of death in your area.

Want more?

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Tracking guns and the criminal justice system

By Jordan Gass-Poore’

Investigative journalists shared their under-the-gun experiences with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Thursday during the panel “Criminal justice: Guns” at this year’s IRE Conference in San Antonio.

Ted Crest with the nonprofit organization Criminal Justice Journalists moderated the panel and provided national-level story ideas that reporters might want to localize, like investigating where criminals get their guns and how background checks are completed.

Crest added that the website SEARCH is an invaluable resource when investigating justice and public safety organizations at the federal, state and local levels.

“Guns is a ...

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Don't miss at IRE 2013: Criminal Justice investigations

The 2013 IRE Conference in San Antonio features several panels on criminal justice reporting, including the following sponsored by Criminal Justice Journalists:

  • Criminal justice and guns
    Featuring Gerardo Reyes of Univision, Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and moderator Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists
  • Criminal justice and prisons
    Featuring Scott Henson of the Grits for Breakfast Blog, Kirk Mitchell of The Denver Post, Jessica Pupovac of NPR, Mike Ward of the Austin American-Statesman and moderator Ted Gest of Criminal Justice Journalists.
  • Criminal justice and immigration
    Featuring Alicia Caldwell of The Associated Press, Susan Carroll of the Houston Chronicle ...
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Fear drives lack of public access in Maine

By Judy Meyer

Maine is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to public access.

Blame technology.

The very computer systems and databases created to improve the flow of information and ease public access are now being held up, by lawmakers, as troublesome portals to be sealed shut in the interest of personal privacy. That easy access to public records is something to fear.

While fear is a good motivator to move people to action, it’s a poor foundation for drafting good public policy. But fear works, and lawmakers increasingly seem more moved by emotion than by information ...

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Behind the Story: How the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel learned about an ATF sting gone wrong

Credit: Lou Saldivar, Journal Sentinel Graphics Editor

John Diedrich and Raquel Rutledge of the Journal Sentinel had an opportunity to gain rare insight into an undercover government operation in 2012. Their watchdog reporting on the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' sting operation in Milwaukee revealed the operation may have done more harm than good in the neighborhood it was intended to help. The operation’s problems raise further questions about  the agency’s competency in light of the Fast and Furious operation, in which agents sold guns to gun traffickers in Arizona from 2006 to 2011 ...

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