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Poynter Teaching Reporters To Shoot Straight

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The debate over gun violence and gun control will heat up as the Dec. 14 anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., massacre approaches, and Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute senior faculty member, believes reporters could do a much better job of covering the issue. Toward that end, Tompkins is hosting the Dec. 4 webinar “Covering Guns,” designed to better educate reporters on the differences between calibers and gauges, automatics and semi-automatics.

“Gun rights and gun control has been a huge topic in 2013,” says Tompkins. “Journalists are covering it a lot, but it’s been my experience that journalists know very little about guns.”

Past seminars on the topic concluded with reporters getting handson lessons from experts at firing ranges. “This is not pro-gun or anti-gun,” says Thompson, who launched CoveringGuns. com. “There’s no political agenda. It’s, ‘Let me teach you about guns and how this stuff works, and you can make your own judgment about it.’”