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“A vast majority of the victims of gun violence survive,” Kaufman said, explaining that over emphasis on coverage of fatal shootings often leaves survivors out of the conversation on gun violence, impacting services and long-term support for what can often be traumatic injuries sustained.
Mass shootings typically steal the headlines, with a large percentage of Americans believing they pose the greatest gun violence threat to life in society.
However, intentional shootings with multiple victims make up just 22 percent of the shootings in the study, and yet they were six times as likely to be covered by the media.
This disproportionate coverage has a knock-on effect on public policy, with more emphasis placed on active shooter drills in schools, rather than a more preventative approach through investment in the community and social programs.
The researchers conclude that a more collaborative approach to gun violence coverage, with input from community leaders and “other stakeholders” outside of the newsroom, might better reflect the reality of gun violence on the streets of the US than is currently portrayed in the media.
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