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How does it feel to be a journalist from an NRA-supporting family?

This is a thought-provoking piece from a journalist who grew up in an NRA member family in the USA:

My father’s interest in guns began as a young man who saved up to buy 60 acres in the Maine wilderness where he could hunt, inspired by tales of Daniel Boone. When he had a family, guns morphed into a way to defend his wife and children in a town without a readily available police force. We always had an N.R.A. sticker on the back of our truck. I didn’t think much about it.

In essence, it’s a plea for empathy and sophistication in our reporting. She is troubled by the media portrayal of NRA members as:

being complicit to mass murder. N.R.A. members like my father are being called “evil,” “scared, paranoid, radicalized,” and equated with the KKK.

Clearly, guns and shooting in the US are a tremendously emotive issue, especially at the moment. But it’s a timely reminder – especially to those of us who live outside the US and don’t really understand the culture about guns – that stereotyping is rarely a useful contribution to reporting.

iPhone 4S as a reporting tool

The iPhone 4s

There’s plenty for journalists to learn from yesterday’s Apple event, not least that spending weeks doing reports based on unsubstantiated rumours about a forthcoming iPhone is a really, really great way to make yourself look incredibly stupid once the event has happened.
I don’t really have a great deal to say about the new iPhone 4S, other than to note that it’s a solid update. From a journalist’s tool point of view, the most significant announcements were probably the following:
  • Better camera – the iPhone 4 was already capable of producing print-quality photos. This only improves that
  • Faster camera – an underreported but significant update. Just over a second to camera readiness? Half a second until you can take a second photo? Great for fast-moving events.
  • Gyroscope-based stabilisation for HD video – another improvement that makes this a great field multi-media tool
The iPhone was already a great multi-media reporting tool. This update just makes it even more compelling.