How journalists can improve their coverage of youth violence

Journalists covering the surge in gun violence among Chicago's youth have been faced with the challenge of figuring out how to best cover the attacks and their effect on the victims' and shooters' families.

The challenge is one that journalists nationwide face when covering youth violence.

During a live chat, we talked about how journalists can enhance their coverage of violence among children and teenagers. Carl Bell -- acting director of the Institute for Juvenile Research and a professor in the University of Illinois' Department of Psychiatry and in the School of Public Health -- talked about the mistakes journalists make, and the stories they miss, when covering this issue. He also offered tips for improving coverage, as well as related context and research. You can replay the chat below.

This chat was being held in conjunction with a Specialized Reporting Institute, "Covering Youth Violence: Lessons from the Front Lines" to be held in Chicago from Oct. 25-26. The application deadline for this free training, sponsored by the McCormick Foundation and hosted by Columbia University, is Monday, Oct. 1.

  • Mallary Jean Tenore

    As managing editor of The Poynter Institute’s website,, I report on the media news industry, edit the site’s How To section, and moderate the site's live chats. I also help handle the site's social media efforts, and teach social media sessions on the side.


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