Design > Brand-building

THE INEVITABLE NEWS

AREA 23, AN FCB HEALTH NETWORK COMPANY, New York / THE INEVITABLE NEWS / 2021

Awards:

Bronze Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Background

Journalism’s approach to gun violence has continued to fall short, with mindlessly written routine stories that see shootings as a “one-size-fits-all” issue. This failure to apply a nuanced hand dehumanizes victims, as if their death by bullet is inevitable rather than a symptom of an ever-growing national crisis.

Amidst the largest spike in gun violence ever in the United States, it’s increasingly important that we address journalism’s failures and set a new path forward to put an end to the rote gun violence coverage that perpetuates our numbness to this violence.

To address this issue, we set out with one ambitious goal: unite American media to create a commitment that outlines new practices for gun violence journalism.

If we can bring together journalists to create a new standard for gun violence journalism, we can impact the American gun violence epidemic – and inspire long overdue change.

Describe the creative idea

Newspapers report on over 100 guns deaths every day in the United States. And it’s always the same story. By writing about shootings as if they were filling out a template, journalists are desensitizing us to these events when they could be using their platform to enact change.

To show journalists the flaws in their gun violence coverage, we created The Inevitable News, a newspaper that covers every mass shooting over the last 3 years—with one single article. The Inevitable News served as an invitation for journalists to the Gun Violence News Summit, a landmark event that brought together influential leaders representing the likes of The New York Times and The Washington Post to forever change the way their industry covers gun violence.

Working together, they crafted The Gun Violence Coverage Commitment, an unprecedented agreement outlining the new standard for gun violence reporting.

Describe the execution

The Inevitable News was designed to feel like a real newspaper to evoke the routine repetition journalists use to report on shootings.

The typical newspaper branding feels familiar: black and white copy populating the pages of newsprint, contrasted against the handwritten red details of the shooting event. This shows how journalists haphazardly fill in the particulars of a shooting event on the spot, rather than shaping the story to the specific needs of the community they are writing about.

To make The Inevitable News feel authentic, copies were printed on real newspaper and distributed to branded dispensers across New York City.

Further, we personalized the design of The Inevitable News to mirror the brand guidelines of the 10 of the biggest newspapers in the United States. These copies were sent to their respective publication’s editorial boards, showing the impact of their routine coverage in the context of their paper.

List the results

The Inevitable News exceeded all expectations. Over 200 journalists from 100+ publications targeted by our street dispensers and personalized editions participated in the virtual Gun Violence News Summit.

25K copies of the Inevitable News were circulated within two weeks, emptying all of our news dispensers. Yet, we weren’t just seeking readership of the Inevitable News, we were looking to forever change how news organizations cover gun violence. Through The Inevitable News and subsequent summit, the changemaking Gun Violence Coverage Commitment was put into the hands of hundreds of newspapers. The Columbia Journalism Review’s publication of the Commitment was seen by more than 100K people and is estimated to have impacted 30K journalists.

The Inevitable News is sparking a major change—helping usher in a new era for gun violence reporting, forever altering the way Americans discuss gun violence and opening the potential for future gun policy reform.

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