Victims and Survivors Share their Views on Development of Media Guidelines

The views of victims and survivors and those who work with them are being collated by researchers in Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) in partnership with the Commission for Victims and Survivors as part of QUB’s project entitled ‘Victims and Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland’.

The project’s aims are to explore how victimhood has been, and continues to be, constructed, reproduced and contested in Northern Ireland. It will produce a range of outputs including one research/policy report directly informed by interviewees, newspaper articles and blog posts. It will also produce a storytelling archive, media training events and a media training guide.

One key output of the project is the creation of a set of media guidelines on how best victims and survivors can most effectively interact with the media – including print, broadcast and social media. These guidelines will be produced in association with the Commission for Victims and Survivors and will be informed by international best practice and the voice and experience of victims and survivors of the Troubles/conflict.

Members of the Victims and Survivors Forum shared their experiences and opinions of dealing with the media at their monthly meeting on Friday 20 October 2017.

The Forum have been discussing the need for guidelines for better media practices for some time as part of the Commission’s ‘Building for the Future’ action plan.

Building for the Future looks at ways to help improve the lives of victims and survivors in a society transitioning from conflict.      

Further discussions around the ‘Victims and Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland’ project were held at a policy seminar which took place in Belfast on 23 October 2017. This was a joint event held by the Commission and QUB to facilitate the project’s development of media guidelines. 

Attendees at the seminar were welcomed by the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors Judith Thompson. Discussions were led by Dr. Cheryl Lawther, Prof. Kieran McEvoy and Dr. Lauren Dempster of QUB.

  • View more details about the seminar which took place in Belfast on 23 October 2017 here.

  • View a short video below of Dr Cheryl Lawther describing the discussions held at the Victims and Survivors Forum meeting on 20 October: