The question came up in a thread on the blue linked within and it was suggested that I come here. How do I tell the story of a disabled student's fight against bullying? How do I not make her a victim while still making an impact?
Another reporter and i are working on a long-form story about cyber-bullying. We are TV reporters, but thankfully we are given free rein when it comes to features. We want to do several stories about current victims of bullying, those inflicting the bullying, and past victims and how they're coping.
Our first story is focusing on a disabled teenage girl who is a victim of IRL and cyber-bullying. Much of this is borne out of a story on the blue yesterday: link to the blue here
Thanks to His thoughts were red thoughts for directing me here. I will try my hardest not to threadsit, though please remember that while journalism may look SUPER easy on the surface, there is probably a lot you are not considering; please don't let your assumptions about process color the discussion.
Tomorrow I am meeting with the 16 y/o bullied girl, who has severe, and stress-induced, epilepsy and has been bullied to the point of multiple suicidal attempts because of it. I would like some feedback on the questions I plan to ask her, as well as ideas about more questions. The interview will be off the record unless she specifies otherwise -- my usual process for that is when I hear an OTR answer I want to report, I will say, "Can I say that you said that? I will write it down and put your name on it. Is that okay?" If they say no, I don't. Otherwise, this will all be background.
I will lead off with:
"None of your answers to these questions will be in the report unless you tell me it's okay. Some of these questions are going to sound insensitive, and I am sorry, but I need you to be honest. If you don't want to answer them, you don't have to, and we can just move on to the next one you're comfortable with. Please don't feel like you have to answer any question."
* How long have you lived here?
* Did you make friends?
* When did this start?
* What do they say to you?
* What are their names?
* Are there other people they say these things to?
* Do your teachers ever notice?
* How has your principal reacted?
* Are your phones taken away in school?
* Does your mom check your internet use (FB, etc) or read your texts?
* When did your sister start getting these texts?
* Were any of these girls your friends before the bullying started?
* What social networking apps do you use?
* Are they targeting you on any of them?
* What did they do when you tried to fight back?
* Are there any activities or places you feel safe?
* Do you plan on going to college?
* Where do you want to go? What do you want to study?
* If there is another person in a situation like yours, what would you want to tell them?
* In five years, what do you think you'll say to your 16 year old self?
* Where do you see yourself in ten years?
* What kind of social networking do you think will be a thing in 20 years?
* How would you tell your kid to handle it?
(Yeah, part of my goal in asking this girl where she sees herself in the future is asking her to acknowledge she HAS a future ... is that too transparent?)