After the Texas Shooting: What Journalists Need to Know About Guns and Ammo


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After the Texas Shooting: What Journalists Need to Know About Guns and Ammo

Learn and understand the different types of guns and ammunition for your reporting.

Type: Webinar

Originally Broadcast On: November 07, 2017

Time Estimate: One hour



SKU: NUWEB100-17 Category: Tag:


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Want to learn about the difference between clips and magazines, cartridges and bullets, pistols and handguns? Learning about firearms can give you a better understanding of gun issues and policies, and lead to smarter stories.

This webinar present journalists with the vocabulary of different kinds of weapons and ammunition such as what qualifies as an “assault” weapon and the two landmark court cases that have had a major influence on the Second Amendment.

You will be able to use what you’ve learned in your everyday journalism as you cover crime, police, outdoor living and even political debates.

Join Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins, who led hands-on workshops for hundreds of journalists around America.


  • Understand what calibers mean
  • The difference between an automatic, semi-automatic and single shot weapon
  • The difference in firepower between difference kinds of weapons
  • Understand what “magazine” and “assault weapon” mean and don’t mean
  • What the courts have said about the Second Amendment


Reporters, editors, producers and anyone interested in telling stories about gun issues.

Course Instructor

Al Tompkins is one of America’s most requested broadcast journalism and multimedia teachers and coaches. After nearly 30 years working as a reporter, photojournalist, producer, investigative reporter, head of special investigations and News Director, Tompkins joined the Poynter Institute where he is Senior Faculty for Broadcast and Online. He is the author of a textbook about multimedia storytelling that has been adopted by more than 100 universities worldwide. He has taught in 49 states, Canada, Egypt, Denmark, South Africa, Iceland and the Caymans.

Tompkins is the recipient of some of journalism’s highest awards including The National Emmy, the Japan Prize, The American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel, The Peabody (group award), 7 National Headliner Awards, The Robert F. Kennedy Award and The Iris Award. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and honored with The Governor’s Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Tompkins helped to author the national codes of ethics for both the National Press Photographers Association and the Radio and Television Digital News Association.