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.
Resources for Interviewing
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.
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.
Video coverage of the 2018 Dart Awards celebration and winners' roundtable, featuring Neil Barsky, John Woodrow Cox, Azmat Khan, and Lizzie Presser; plus a special World Press Freedom commemoration featuring Columbia Journalism School graduate students Ali Anisi Tehrani and Davi Merchan.
Full video from "Interviewing Children: Multi-disciplinary Approaches; Diverse Contexts"; June 30, 2018.
The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies has released a special issue on refugee children and their families, featuring articles and resources available at no cost through the end of September.
At the Perugia Journalism Festival, the Dart Center hosted panels on confronting gendered threats, and on interviewing people with a history of violence. Event video is now available.
At the Perugia Journalism Festival, this conversation focused on keeping yourself and your sources safe when interviewing criminals, paramilitaries and others with a history of violence.