Reporting Gun Violence: Media, Ethics and Community Intervention


This roundtable brings together Philadelphia community organizers, nonprofit leaders and media practitioners to discuss the ways media ethics and community intervention can lead to a more nuanced approach to reporting on gun violence.

A panel with Maxayn Gooden, Jim MacMillan and Oronde McClain moderated by Florence Madenga with introduction by Desmond Upton Patton

About the Speakers

Jim MacMillan is the founder and director of the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. He has been a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the Knight-Wallace Fellows, as well as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Swarthmore College. Previously, MacMillan spent 17 years at the Philadelphia Daily News and photographed the war in Iraq for The Associated Press, after which he and his team were awarded The Pulitzer Prize.

Oronde McClain is the Credible Messenger Newsroom Liaison at the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting. He produced a short documentary, “They Don’t Care About Us, or Do They?” with support from the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Oronde is also the founder of the McClain Foundation, which provides accommodation for children who are receiving medical care due to gun Violence and suffering from mental illness and PTSD. Oronde McClain was shot in the head at age 10 in Philadelphia and it took him 12 years to recover from his injuries.

Maxayn Gooden and Oronde McClain welcome attendees to the Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting’s Link Up and Info Session last May at IDEAL: Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership at Temple University. More than 40 people attended, including some of the city’s most prominent journalists and gun violence prevention community leaders. Photograph by Kriston Jae Bethel.

Maxayn Gooden is Community Engagement Manager for the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Her work includes communicating with past, present and future community journalists, helping to meet their reporting needs, gathering community-produced content and helping to plan and execute improvements to the Credible Messenger Reporting Project. Maxayn’s son Jahsun Patton became a victim of gun violence in 2017. She produced her documentary “The Lasting Impact” in his memory.

Florence Madenga is the Gerbner Postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication. Her work explores the evolution and boundaries of journalism, media, identity, and power as they pertain to expanding and/or contracting globalization through multi-modal methods and decolonial frameworks. Her primary research sites are located in the United States and Zimbabwe.

Desmond Upton Patton is the Brian and Randi Schwartz University Professor and director of SAFELab at the Annenberg School. He studies the impact social media has on well-being, mental health, trauma, violence and grief for youth and adults of color. He leverages social work thinking, data science, qualitative methods, and community partnerships to develop strategies to support digital grief and trauma and reduce on and offline gun-related violence.

About the Organizations

The Credible Messenger Reporting Project empowers people impacted by gun violence to report on root causes, lived experience and possible solutions from the community perspective. Credible Messengers are paired with advanced professional journalists to learn from each other and leverage their combined authority to produce and distribute independent news reports, with support provided by the Center. CMRP has provided support to more than 100 community journalists, professional reporting partners and other support staff working in the Credible Messenger Reporting Project and Film Festivals.

The Philadelphia Center for Gun Violence Reporting (PCGVR) creates direct and genuine connections among gun violence prevention scholars, journalists, and impacted communities to mitigate harmful media narratives and advance empathetic, ethical, and impactful gun violence reporting. By curating connections, cultivating trust, and conducting collaborative research, PCGVR will inform journalistic practices and influence the programs and policies that will ultimately lead to a more nuanced, public health-focused approach and fewer people harmed by gun violence.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Media at Risk and SAFELab. 

Event details

Annenberg Public Policy Center | The Agora