Resources for Tip Sheets
When conducting an interview with someone who has experienced trauma – especially a child – remember that you have the power, and they have the hurt. How do you give a child a sense of power and control? How do you help them tell their story?
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.
Everyone has a right to dignity. Use creative approaches. Photograph objects. Maintain confidentiality. Work with reporters you trust. Think about how you’d want your own story told. Don’t be afraid of taking a beautiful shot. Remember why you're there.
A tip sheet for journalists and newsroom managers on dealing with online hate speech and harassment. Click here for a Spanish version.
Be human first. Do as much pre-reporting as possible. Find out what questions the child has been asking. When possible, immerse. Make them comfortable. Leave them in a good place. Verify what they’ve told you. And don’t underestimate them.