U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Stephen Gutowski was awarded the Journalist of the Year at Gun Rights Policy Conference in 2021. He’s won this award before. I’ve been seeing him at GRPC and some other events around the country. At GRPC in Chicago a few years ago, we were walking and talking with someone and he said he’d like to be on the show when I get to the DC/VA area. I finally made a trip and was able to film a show with him. We met at Mount Vernon, VA, at George Washington’s house and took a scenic drive next to the Potomac River and headed into Old Town Alexandria.
Stephen didn’t grow up around firearms or shooting, but he started in college. He also started a blog writing about politics in college as well. Going out for a staff retreat, there was some informal skeet shooting. He does admit to being afraid of recoil, which is something to someone who hasn’t shot before. That’s when Stephen got the gun bug and bought a 20 gauge shotgun that wasn’t really good for anything other than having a shotgun. The good news is he still has it because it doesn’t have much value other than being his first gun.
Since then, he’s made smarter purchases, did some AR builds, and became an instructor. All of these were beneficial when he was writing gun stories for various publications. He meant he was an informed journalist. His writing style was more first person but he learned to write better as a journalist and write hard news stories. He’s written for the National Review, The Washington Review, and The Atlantic, but wrote for The Washington Free Beacon for several years.
Much of the writing about firearms is inaccurate due to the writers not knowing about firearms. Which is one of the motivators on why Stephen started “The Reload”, his own publication about news stories and their relation with firearms. The Reload gives sober & serious informed reporting about firearms.
Besides the media not knowing about firearms, sometimes the firearms community doesn’t know how the politics of things work or the process of passing things like Constitutional carry, or even how bills get passed. It takes knowledge and often experience to see which bills could pass and which don’t have a chance of passing.
The Reload is both a website and a podcast. The business model is something that many folks are doing. They give content for free then offer more content to members who pay for a subscription and support the website or podcast.. There is a lifetime membership subscription and a yearly subscription for The Reload.
One of the huge benefits of producing your own news outlet is that you have control over the content and stories you put out. But Stephen knows he’s still got to make and keep the subscribers subscribing, so there’s always going to be good, solid information. The Reload puts out daily content, with the free weekly newsletter coming out on Fridays and the exclusive email to subscribers on Sunday.
As awarded the Journalist of the Year by the Second Amendment Foundation, Stephen is on top of what is happening in firearms and politics. At the very least, after you listen to RSWC, check out some episodes of The Reload and consider supporting Stephen with a subscription.
“I learned over the years… how to be a better journalist, like better at hard news writing.”
“You never stop learning. You never stop improving your writing if you’re serious about it as a profession.”
“My main goal with writing is trying to inform people, tell them what is going on in the world, try to give them a better understanding of reality.”
“I don’t want to mislead people into thinking that some bill is a threat when it’s not.”
“I think it’s fun to talk to the members and see how they are, why they subscribed, and what makes them tick”
“I want to foster community that engages with the content and each other but does so in a respectful way”
Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Riding Shotgun With Charlie isn’t about firearms. It is about having an intimate conversation with 2 people talking. You’re the fly on the rearview mirror. Many passengers are involved in the firearm community, but not all of them.
This is a more intimate conversation than a phone, radio, or Skype interview. You get to see the passengers. And you’ll see where the road and the conversation take you! www.ridingshotgunwithcharlie.com, Facebook