Responsible Reporting of Gun Violence: Protecting Communities and the First Amendment, Preventing Copycat Violence

February 9, 2018 - 8:30am to 4:00pm


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

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 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. This symposium will bring together experts in mental health, violence prevention and public health, law and law enforcement, and media studies.

More information at


Location and Address

111 Barco Law Building