This style guide is designed as a quick, authoritative reference for reporters, editors and producers working on tight deadlines. It includes brief evidence-informed guidance on news choices, language usage and ethics in reporting on the impact of trauma on individuals, families and communities; recommendations for appropriate use of relevant psychological and scientific terminology; and special considerations when reporting on consequential trauma-laden issues such as racism and sexual violence.
Resources for Tip Sheets, Children & Youth, Interviewing
Tips and tools to report safely and effectively during the coronavirus pandemic, updated regularly following Dart Center webinars.
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.
Get permission before interviewing or photographing a child. Set clear ground rules about what is on and off the record. Don't talk down to a child. And don't make promises you can't keep. A Spanish-language version of this tip sheet is available here.