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Challenge | 50 minutes

RAPID RESPONSE: Living with gun violence



Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for young Americans.

This is your chance to participate in a collaborative documentary with Student Reporting Labs. Our Rapid Response is in conjunction with SRL's current school year prompt seeking stories about gun violence. We want to hear directly from you and your peers about your thoughts, feelings, opinions. It's a chance for you to contribute, shorter, more personal reflections..

Even those who are never directly affected by an act of gun violence deal with the grief, fear and trauma that comes with regularly hearing news of the violence.

You may have heard the phrase “run, hide, fight” as common advice for what to do if you find yourself in an active shooter situation.

Consider the broad ways you, or people you know, run (fear gun violence), hide (deal with its hidden consequences) and fight (seek solutions for a better future).


Record a short video (under 3 minutes) exploring how you are impacted or interview a peer for their perspective.

Consider the following questions:

  • How does gun violence affect your life? Do you experience fear of gun violence in certain situations?
  • What is it like preparing for gun violence to occur at school? Describe what it feels like to go through an active shooter or lockdown drill as if you’re talking to someone who has never experienced one.
  • Has there been an act of gun violence that came too close to home? Has there been a shooting near where you live? Or an accidental gun death or a suicide?
  • When does gun violence show up on your social media feeds? What kind of news or information-sharing affects the way you think of gun violence?
  • What would you like adults to know about your experience growing up with gun violence? What misunderstandings do you think they have about your experience?
  • Does anything make you hopeful that the future will have less gun violence? Have any activists or activist movements inspired you?

Use these sample sentences to get started

“When I think about gun violence I feel….”

“I wish people understood….”

“I am hopeful….”


Share a spoken word poem, or perform a piece of music you’ve written about gun violence

DEADLINE: March 15, 2024


IMPORTANT: If you are submitting Google Drive links, ​please change the access settings to allow others to view the content.

NOTE: must also have this release form completed to confirm your participation in Student Reporting Labs (SRL). The SRL team evaluates pieces based on this criteria. Please be sure your story incorporates these requirements.


Record yourself: This could be in the form of a video diary, where you record yourself talking straight to the camera using the suggested questions.

Record a peer: Record another teenager using the suggested questions (above) as a guide. Add your own questions too, and ask good follow up questions based on the answers you hear.

ON CAMERA IDENTIFICATION: For the record, please say and spell your full name (first and last) on camera. Also please describe how you want to be identified in this video. For example, “I’m an 11th grade student at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, California” NOTE: THIS INFORMATION IS USED BY SRL’S EDITORS TO IDENTIFY STUDENTS ON SCREEN. WE NEED IT IN ORDER TO PUBLISH YOUR VIDEO.


  • Decide which option you would like to pursue
  • Reach out to your interview subject(s) for a pre-interview and schedule a recording date
  • Prepare and practice
  • Record the interview(s) and make sure to thank your subject for their time. They must sign our media release if they are under 18
  • Transfer your footage to your computer or device and transcribe using Otter or similar service
  • Before uploading your video for submission, watch it


It is important to follow these guidelines if you would like your video to be considered for publication.

UPLOADING VIDEO FILE: Rename the video file with your information: STATE_School_Name_RR.mp4

Example: CT_BensonHigh_SallySmith_RR.mp4

File type: .mp4, codec: h.264, resolution: 1920x1080, 30fps

Exporting .mp4 using Premiere or Final Cut Pro



Subject is looking at the camera, centered, from the chest up, normal headroom.


FILL OUT THE SUBMISSION FORM HERE (this is where you’ll submit submit your raw video and transcripts)

NOTE: We encourage educators to watch the videos and review them for technical issues, and ONLY SUBMIT THE BEST 5 PER SCHOOL OR CLASS.

REMINDER: You must have this release form completed to confirm your participation in Student Reporting Labs (SRL).


Media refers to all electronic or digital means and print or artistic visuals used to transmit messages.

Source: NAMLE

News Media

All forms of media created with the purpose of informing the public and delivering news through specific mediums such as radio and broadcast stations, digital news organizations and others.


​​A subject or problem that people are thinking and talking about

Source: Cambridge Dictionary


A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

Story Angle

In news, it’s a story’s point or theme. It's the lens through which the producer or writer filters the information they have gathered and focuses it to make it meaningful to viewers or readers.

Source: ThoughCo.


The term “empathy” is used to describe a wide range of experiences. A generally definition is the ability to sense other people’s emotions, coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. In media-making, creators can have empathy for their subjects and the audience can empathize with the characters.


A short extract or clip from a recorded interview, chosen for its relevance to the story, pungency or appropriateness.


Something that is known or proved to be true.


A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Natural sound

Sounds produced in their actual setting. Natural sound, commonly known as NAT sound, puts the viewer in the place the story was told by enhancing the scene(s) with video containing rich audio such as a musician singing at a train station, a storm approaching, or the sound of a tractor plowing the field.


A word-for-word document of what was said in a conversation or interview


A person who gives an account or tells the story of events, experiences, etc. In news, it is the person who adds spoken commentary to the video news story.


The main person or character in a story. There can be multiple subjects in a story. The subject can also be the main theme of your story.


A conversation with someone who is relevant to your story. Typically done over the phone or through video conferencing, but they can be done in person, too.

Follow-up Question

A question that comes after an interview subject responds to an initial question asked by the interviewer. A good follow-up question derives from listening to what the interviewee is saying and determining how best to help them elaborate and share more information.

Constructing Supporting Questions

Explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a supporting question and explain how supporting questions contribute to an inquiry and how, through engaging source work, new compelling and supporting questions emerge. (NCSS D1.3.9-12 - D1.4.9-12)

Determining Helpful Sources

Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of the sources. (NCSS D1.5.9-12)

Demonstrate the use of basic tools and equipment used in audio, video and film production.

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)

Constructing Compelling Questions

Explain how a question reflects an enduring issue in the field and explain points of agreement and disagreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question. (NCSS D1.1.9-12 - D1.2.9-12)

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

Whether students are constructing opinions, explanation, or arguments, they will gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the relevance of that information. (NCSS D3.1.9-12 - D3.2.9-12)

Plan and deliver a media production (e.g., broadcast, video, web, mobile).


Race and Justice

Video Production



Gun Violence

School Safety


Mental Health

Active Prompts


Camera or Mobile Phone


Mobile Phone



Estimated Time

50 minutes