Gun control group to offer gun training for reporters

Sebastian at Shall Not Be QuestionedSo Bloomberg is going to teach journalists about how to report on guns. Actually, I think this is a smart move on their part. First, most journalists don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to this topic, so they won’t be able to tell they are being spoon fed bullshit. Second, it gives Bloomberg’s group a chance to tout that they have expertise on this issue. They don’t actually need expertise, but by passing themselves off as experts they gain a chance to become that journalists go-to source when they are looking for information on a topic. More importantly, it will connect journalists Bloomberg’s preferred experts.

On the one hand, most reporters are already reflexively anti-gun. On the other hand, the Charlie Hebdo attacks had some of them rethinking that position. And on the gripping hand, if Bloomberg can make our job debunking biased and ignorant coverage even a little bit harder, it could dramatically reduce our advantage in correcting the misinformation.

I think we need to respond to this in two ways: first, some of our friendly organizations with credibility need to offer competing training. Second, we need some of our guys to attend undercover and see what's bring taught, so we can effectively counter it. And it would be ideal (but probably impossible) to find out who has attended the training courses so we could point that out later in response to their reporting on the issue.

All that said, I think journalists who think of themselves as professionals will recognize this for propaganda rather than information just based on the source. That doesn't mean they won't attend, but it does mean they may be open to the argument that they should hear both sides. We can only make that argument if we have a side for them to hear, though.

UPDATE: Michael Bane points out that we used to have a training program for journalists.

This entry was published Sun Jan 18 12:17:25 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2015-01-21 13:04:37.0. [Tweet]

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