Responsible Reporting of Gun Violence

February 9, 2018 - 9:00am

To register:

Symposium website:

For more information, contact: Beth Ann Pischke,, 412-648-7007

Friday, February 9, 2018

Coffee @ 8:30 am, program 9:00 am – 4:00 pm 

Barco Law Building – First Floor

3900 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA

This symposium will bring together experts in mental health, violence prevention and public health, law and law enforcement, and media studies to examine ways to report gun violence to the public responsibly.

Considered a public health problem, gun violence is a threat to every dimension of health: it undermines physical, mental, and social well-being. Concern for the health and well-being of individuals and communities demands drawing attention to the causes and magnitude of this health risk. Yet media attention frequently exacerbates some risks to physical and mental health. While homicide in many communities is a relatively neglected sociocultural phenomenon and health risk, mass shooting events capture public attention through 24-hour news cycles and social media platforms. Coverage of these events often leads to an implication that there can be only two explanations: extremism or illness. Media coverage frequently fuels the stigma of mental illness and false perceptions that people with mental illness are dangerous. Coverage also leads to copycat violence, clustering of violent events, and tactical mimicry by people considering such attacks. Through a series of presentations and panel discussions assembled experts will explore best practices for media coverage of gun violence.

Confirmed Speakers:

·   Mark Follman, National Affairs Editor, Mother Jones

·   Adam Lankford, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, The University of Alabama

·   Kelly McBride, Vice President, The Poynter Institute

·   Emma Beth McGinty, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

·   Edward P. Mulvey, PhD Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh

·    Russell Palarea, Founder and President of Operational Psychology Services, LLC

·   John “Jack” Rozel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh

The public, students, and faculty are welcome. Journalists, writers, and professionals in mental health, public health, law, and law enforcement are especially encouraged to participate.

Registration is free; however, registration is requested to ensure adequate space and refreshments. Continuing medical, law enforcement, and legal education credit will be available. Payment by check or cash will be accepted at the door.

Co-sponsored by the Schools of Law and Public Health; Departments of Africana Studies, Communication, English, and Psychiatry; Charles Crow Fund in the Department of English; Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health; University Honors College; the Provost’s Year of the Healthy U initiative; Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Ethics and Policy; and the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.


Participation by all individuals is encouraged.  Advance notification of any special needs will help us provide better service.  Please notify us of your needs at least two weeks in advance of the program by calling Beth Ann Pischke at 412-648-7007.


All individuals in a position to control content of this education activity are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any proprietary entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients.


The University of Pittsburgh is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution.


Location and Address

Barco Law Building – First Floor