Since I work with the media to help them understand the realities about guns and public policy, I receive many media inquiries. One source is via Help A Reporter Out (HARO), a service where reporters can widely query experts.
After the rampage in Santa Barbara, a reporter from the Arizona Republic nakedly asked for expert to help the gun control industry craft better market messages.
We all accept there is bias in all media. We also accept that reporters, like the rest of us, often skew their work. But the request from Megan Finnerty goes beyond bias: she is actively aiding a political ideology, and thus abusing the very word “journalist”.
Here is her request (minus some links she provided). Folks everywhere should call the “newspaper” (800-331-9303) and express their concerns:
I am looking for thoughts on how Richard Martinez, the outspoken father of a young man killed in the Isla Vista, Calif., shooting Friday, could craft a gun control message that might make a difference to politicians, and to the national discourse.
I am looking for clever ideas for re-branding or re-framing the national conversation on gun control – from visuals to slogans, to talking points.
I am looking for your expert take on what Martinez, and others like him, could try talking about that would sound fresh, that would shock into action, that would make a difference, cut through the noise, that might succeed where the parents in Newtown and Mark Kelly and Gabby Giffords have yet to break through.
From the Washington Post: “Martinez said he is consulting with experts to help develop a clear message and a specific course of action that the public can undertake with the aim of preventing similar tragedies in the future. ‘There’s no playbook for this. We don’t know what we are doing,’ he said. ‘I just know I have to keep fighting until something changes.'”
This story is about how there *is* a playbook for this, and it’s not working right now.
By this, I assume she is referring to Preventing Gun Violence Through Effective Messaging, the leaked gun control play book that was exposed last year.
Angry, indignant, hurt families and rising body counts don’t seem to be persuading politicians to act.
For two years following the Tucson shooting three years ago, Americans for Responsible Solutions has been advocating and educating about stronger background checks, limits on high capacity magazines, stricter gun trafficking laws, a reinstatement of the assault weapons bans, and improved mental health services.
Thank you for considering this opportunity,
UPDATE: This article appears to be the aftermath of her inquiry.