Firearms education for the Fourth Estate

A key role of the SSAA in the age of a 24-hour news cycle and shrinking newsrooms is to educate journalists and commentators about firearms and the shooting sports. In response to the changing nature of the news media, our dedicated Media department is available 24/7, with press releases issued regularly and experts readily available for interviews. In addition to this, the SSAA also publishes a handy reference book written by journalists, for journalists.

The SSAA’s A Journalist’s Guide to Firearms and the Shooting Sports was first published in April 2009, with a new edition released in December 2015. Since the revised edition, the SSAA has distributed more than 1500 copies of the guide to editors, journalists, media outlets, universities, libraries and politicians across Australia, in an attempt to provide factual and evidence-based information about our recreation.

SSAA National Media Officer Kate Fantinel said many journalists are time poor and may not be familiar with the correct firearms terminology, or have any knowledge about shooting or hunting. “This guide is a helpful resource that reporters can quickly refer to, especially for those who may not have used or even seen a firearm before,” she said. “This guide has also been gifted to our elected representatives, including the relevant Ministers responsible for firearms as part of their portfolios.”

“The SSAA’s media team is proactive in our approach to the media and sends complimentary copies of the guide to any journalist who reports on firearms – positively or negatively – as we are constantly monitoring how the media portrays our recreation to the general public,” said Kate. “We’ve even posted copies to anti-gun commentators, including members of Gun Control Australia and the Australian Greens Party, along with academics who feature in interviews about firearms.”

To ensure accurate information is available across the country, the state and territory SSAA branches are encouraged to distribute the guide to their local media contacts and politicians, in addition to those issued by the SSAA National office. The guide is also readily available for journalists and interested SSAA members to view and share online.

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