Domestic violence, foster care and mental illness are important issues for journalists to cover. But anytime you’re dealing with families and children, there are ethical decisions to consider. We pulled some of our favorite tips and insights from a panel at the 2015 IRE Conference. IRE members can listen to the entire panel online.


Marisa Kwiatkowski of the Indianapolis Star discussed her process for interviewing families who may be uncomfortable with the subject of the investigation.


Last year, BuzzFeed News’ Alex Campbell wrote about parents charged with “failure to protect” who were suffering just as much as their children. This investigation gave him lots of information about which court documents often contained the behind-the-scenes information he needed.


Karen de Sá, an investigative reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, drew on years of experience to explain the best ways of finding child victims.


She also took great care to emphasize that reporters should be very careful with victims of abuse and shared her knowledge on how to avoid revictimization.