Are You Happy Now: Sensitive Interviewing During Tragedy
"Citizens thrust into the news by crisis or tragedy deserve different treatment
than politicians, executives or others who are sophisticated about dealing with
the media" (Haiman 32).
In cases where an accident has just occurred or a tragedy has just been witnessed, the goals of journalism differ from when one is interviewing the president on a new policy or a mayor about discovered affair in his office. Here, the reporter must remember that he/she is not trying to uncover a deep, dark secret, or hoping for the interviewee to slip and say too much; the job is to humanize a tragedy, to make sense of chaos, and to show the effects of unfortunate events.
It was interesting to read that "sensitivity can be learned." I agree with that, and I also agree with the practice of having journalists discuss ethical dilemmas with their editors, and undergo special training for such trying times.