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​Pitt Presents: ‘Responsible Reporting of Gun Violence’ Symposium

For Journalists

Ashley Trentrock

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WHAT: Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, this symposium will bring together experts in mental health, violence prevention, public health, law enforcement and media studies to examine ways to report gun violence to the public responsibly. Through a series of presentations and panel discussions, experts will explore best practices for media coverage of gun violence, such as methods to cover the news without leading to a clustering of violent events or copycat violence by people considering such attacks.
WHY: While it is important to cover these events, news stories often lead to an implication that there can be only two explanations: extremism or illness. This symposium will look at why this news coverage fuels the stigma of mental illness and false perceptions that people with mental illness are dangerous.
• Introduction (9:05 a.m.)
Jack Rozel, M.D., M.S.L., associate professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine
• The Challenge of Developing a “Science” of Violence Prediction (9:15 a.m.)
Edward P. Mulvey, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, Pitt School of Medicine
• Behavioral Based Threat Assessment: A Framework for Assessing and Preventing Targeted Violence Attacks (9:50 a.m.)
Russell Palarea, Ph.D., president, Operational Psychology Services
• Reducing Public Mass Shootings in the United States: An Assessment of Firearms Availability and Media Coverage of Perpetrators (10:45 a.m.)
Adam Lankford, Ph.D., M.S., associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, The University of Alabama
• News Media Coverage of Mental Illness and Violence: Influence on U.S. Firearm Policy Debates (11:30 a.m.)
Beth McGinty, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor, departments of Health Policy and Management, and Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
For more information, visit:
WHEN: 9 to 12 noon, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 (see above for session times)
WHERE: Barco Law Building – Teplitz Memorial Moot Courtroom, ground floor, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland
Note to Media: To cover this event, prearrangements must be made by contacting Madison Brunner at 412-335-6038 or A webcast also is available. Please contact Madison for that link.