December 21st, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Sneak peek at this Sunday's show

By Becky Perlow, CNN 

It's hard to believe it's only been a week since a 20-year-old gunman broke into a Newtown, Conn. school and murdered 20 children. Following a press conference on Wednesday where President Obama promised to look more closely at the country's current gun laws, the National Rifle Association announced Friday morning that the only way to protect children in schools is to have guns in schools. CNN's Tom Foreman, one of the reporters who attended the NRA's announcement, joins PBS NewsHour's former media correspondent Terence Smith in our studio to discuss the ramifications of such an announcement.

The non-stop news flooding out of Newtown has also raised questions about journalistic ethics for many reporters covering the massacre. Joe Scarborough, both a father and a strong advocate for the 2nd amendment, announced on Monday that he's rethinking his view on gun control... but should he have included his personal views in the discussion? Former correspondent for NBC News Fred Francis, Editor-in-chief of Daily-Download.com Lauren Ashburn and George Washington University's Professor of Media and Public Affairs Steve Roberts join us to discuss our responsibility as journalists: Is it to push the gun control issue? Or is it our job to cover the controversial topic objectively, like we are trained and expected to do? They'll also weigh in on the public relation nightmares of the year, from etch-a-sketch shake-ups to private sectors that were apparently not doing so fine.

Everyone loves a good action flick, but one in particular hits close to home for many Americans this holiday season. Zero Dark Thirty, from director Kathryn Bigelow who gave us The Hurt Locker, has already garnered mass media attention for its portrayal of the hunt for the most wanted man in the world, Osama bin Laden. CNN's National Security analyst and author of Manhunt: The Ten Year Searcg for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad Peter Bergen and New York magazine's film critic David Edelstein trade talking points about whether art imitates life.

This Sunday, 11am EST.

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Filed under: Blog • Media Criticism • Newtown • NRA • Politics • Reliable Sources • Sandy Hook • Sneak Peek • Terrorism • Zero Dark Thirty
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  10. Fish Fingers

    "Guns don't kill people, people do."

    This is an incomplete and frankly loony thought..

    People kill people with any weapon or "tool" they can find. Guns just do a really good job with the deed.

    To continue to allow a loophole in weapons registration and licencing (national gun registry is need) is foolishness. Owners and guns should be tracked, a database to include the purchase of ammunition for those weapons. strict laws in place to judge the worthiness of gun owners, etc.

    I could go on but this information is already provided by a well throughout organization.

    Check out the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Solutions exist.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  11. Arvin Ewing

    Fred Francis said on Reliable Sources "the media should report from the middle". As a principal I agree but what ever happened to journalists holding politicians directly accountable for lies and misleading statements? Why wasn't the issue of guns even raised by the media during the election?

    Television news coverage has pathetically, been so far manipulated into in the "middle" to the point where a lie on one side is considered the "the other point of view".

    What happened to reporting on reality?

    December 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  12. Heinz H.

    At the end of every year, journalists sit down and pontificate about journalistic ethics – you just did the same today. Yet, the next year we continue to see the constant stream of journalists drawn to stories like dogs to dripping red meat, crossing lines, whipping viewers into a frenzy, and invading the privacy of those involved in the latest media-exacerbated "crises". Even though journalists themselves self-report "we know very little at this time", it just doesn't dampen their need to fill air time with idle chatter, speculation, showing that they can put a body on the ground, standing in front of buildings, calling in "experts" and speculating on all the potential things that "could" have happened. The emphasis appears to be on maximizing air time, sensationalism, whipping the public into a frenzy, and one-upping rival news channels – not on giving rational thought to developing events. Does the profession as a whole have journalistcs ethics? Sure, just like my local gossip mongers do! I don't know why you even bother to cover this subject – it's insulting to your viewership!

    December 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  13. jeffgollin

    I strongly disagree with Fred Francis' call for "balance" and "not stepping over the line" in covering the Gun Violence" debate.

    Admittedly, covering only the extremes of an issue makes for sensationalistic journalism and adds to the polarized poltitics of the country. But equally as bad is to force-feed "balance" in news coverage (because news events of the day often do not present themselves in a 50-50 balanced manner).

    Whatever happened to "realism" (i.e. telling it like it it is -as the journalist sees it)? Artificially searching for News Account B to balance out News Account B is as phony as slanting a story to favor either of 2 extreme positions.

    In short, in addition to Left, Right and Balanced, there's a fourth approach, "Real." Going that route might require more journalistic discipline, but it's the right way to go.

    December 23, 2012 at 11:39 am | Reply
  14. Bill McKellin

    One of your guests made an important point that was glossed over- there are shootings in the US everyday which receive little attention. Why aren't they news? If news programs can end their broadcast with a list of military who were killed, why not do the same for civilians? At least the military volunteered to be shot at.

    December 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
  15. Linda P

    If you mentioned this, I must have missed it: Re the NRA blaming our "culture of violence" with violent video games and tv. Why hasn't anyone in the media called him on this? After all, Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia and Japan all play the same video games and watch the same tv programs, and the violent deaths due to weapons of mass destruction in those countries are far less than in the U.S.

    December 23, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  16. L. Austin

    Will you discuss the behavior of the press in Newton,Ct. I tried to avoid news after first 2 days. The number of reporter, trucks,lights,etc was so insensitive and intrusive. I read one newspaper article that said that funeral go-ers will asking the press to go away and leave them be.

    NRA response is callow and a new low for right-wing.

    Pres.Obama has already missed the "swift response" time limit.

    December 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply

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