The teen journalists who powered this project live in cities and towns across the country. Some live in places with little violent crime. Others are growing up in neighborhoods scarred by frequent gunfire. Almost all of them have been through a lockdown drill.
Most of the young reporters don’t know anyone who’s been shot. But the team also included students for whom the issue of gun violence is inescapably personal. One worries about his safety when walking in his Chicago neighborhood. Another lost a family member in a domestic violence shooting in Los Angeles that local media barely covered. The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who contributed profiles shared classrooms and hallways with peers killed by a gunman who entered their school.
That range of experiences yielded the diverse perspectives that come through in the stories they spent months working together to tell.
The Trace, Miami Herald, and McClatchy Newspapers built on the student journalists’ work to document patterns in child gun deaths — and what might reduce them.