There is no infallible method for interviewing people who have been victims and survivors of traumatic events such as violence and crime, disasters, or accidents. Each case is unique and presents its own ethical challenges and dilemmas.
Resources for Interviewing
A panel discussion at International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ annual meeting offered an innovative model for interviewing survivors of sexual assault: keep a therapist in the room.
Tips and tools to report safely and effectively during the coronavirus pandemic, updated regularly following Dart Center webinars.
Full video "Trauma-Informed Interviewing: Techniques from a Clinician’s Toolkit" from the Dart Center's reporting institute, "Reporting on Refugees and Migration Through the Eyes of Young Children"; September 20, 2019.
This report is the first to map in detail the risks that traumatic stress and moral injury pose to those working in documentary and factual TV. In releasing it, the Dart Centre is calling for informed policies around the management of traumatic content, greater awareness of mental health, and more attention on ethical and emotional challenges of working with vulnerable contributors.
This collection of tip sheets, written by journalist Susan McKay, is part of a Queen’s University Belfast project exploring the intersection between victims and ‘dealing with the past’ in Northern Ireland, in particular through examining the themes of voice, agency, and blame.
It includes guidelines on 1) interviewing victims and survivors of conflict; 2) representing and engaging with victims and survivors for journalists, editors and educators; 3) speaking to journalists and the media.
Get consent. Be transparent. Rethink your definition of “family.” Be flexible. Give children agency. Be precise and avoid cliché’s. Ask sensitive questions. Beware of simplistic binaries. Find the paper trail.