'Guns: An American Conversation' Special Section Coming to Plain Dealer Sunday


March for Our Lives, Cleveland, (3/24/2018). - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • March for Our Lives, Cleveland, (3/24/2018).
Sunday, a special section about guns will appear in the Plain Dealer. Titled "Guns: An American Conversation," the section is a joint project of Advance publications, Spaceship Media, TIME, and others. (The PD, Cleveland.com and Sun News comprise Advance Ohio).

The material for the special section was gathered at a two-day conversation hosted by the Newseum in Washington D.C. in March, the same weekend as the March for Our Lives demonstrations nationwide.

Twenty-one participants from diverse backgrounds and political ideologies were convened to share their experiences with and around guns. The conversation was facilitated by Essential Partners, an organization that specializes in facilitating conversation across barriers.

"They came together for an experiment," read an ad in last week's PD announcing the section. "They were victims of gun violence, and gun collectors, and cops and lawyers and hunters and teenagers and moms. Could they, in some small way, bridge the divide? Could they agree on some measures to mitigate the crisis?"

The conversation continued in the weeks and months after the initial gathering. Local and national journalists pursued related stories, and more than 150 community members participated on the project's Facebook page. Stephen Koff, Cleveland.com's Washington Bureau Chief (who was among the publication's buyouts in April) penned a number of stories as part of the project.

Cleveland.dom editor Chris Quinn announced in March that gun violence would be added to the digital news outlet's Impact Agenda. That was a good decision. It's up to the media to continue pressing for stricter gun control laws.

The section will arrive only days after a shooting at the Annapolis Capital Gazette. It was the most deadly day in American journalism since 9/11. Five employees at the paper were killed in the attack. 

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