Child Abuse in the Irish Catholic Church—Back Story 2


The last couple of days have been long, interesting and rewarding. Derek and I spent the first day looking for information on the Catholic Church and its child abuse victims. We didn’t find anyone who was willing to speak to us within the Catholic Church, but we were able to talk to a few victims. Derek and I finally came across a well-known victim of the child abuse scandal who graciously accepted our request for an interview.

At 3 p.m. Friday, Derek and I found ourselves running into a potentially horrifying issue. The building where we were supposed to meet our subject simply did not exist! It took us a good 15 minutes to find the pub where we were directed by her assistant. Finally, her kind assistant found us in the pub, waiting anxiously.

 I had never interviewed anyone before this Friday, so feelings of anxiety and curiosity coursed throughout my body. As we entered the facility our subject had set up for victims, I noticed survivors sitting on coaches and socializing. I scanned the room to get an idea of the place while we waited until our subject finished her call. At last, I found myself eagerly and attentively listening and occasionally asking questioning.

After the interview, I was a bit speechless. Our subject’s story had a great impact on me. Derek advised me that in journalism, it’s easy at first to feel attachment and empathy, but eventually you must remember to stay professional.


One Response to Child Abuse in the Irish Catholic Church—Back Story 2

  1. cschwalbe says:

    That’s good advice from Derek. Especially when you’re starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the emotion and develop empathy for the person you’re interviewing. Remember that there’s usually another side to the story—or several sides. That’s one of the reasons you need to talk to multiple sources.

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