Documenting Human Rights Violations in Challenging Environments


The last lesson provided a broad overview of how to collect information from public sources. In this lesson, we will outline tips for collecting information from two specific public sources–eyewitnesses and media sources–that can prove difficult to identify and trust. By the end of this lesson, you will know how to:

  • Identify and conduct an interview with an eyewitness;
  • Select media sources that could be useful to your project; and,
  • Assess the credibility of these media sources.

What is an eyewitness?

An eyewitness is someone who observes an incident or event in person and can testify to what happened. Eyewitnesses may describe the occurrence in their own words and/or provide direct evidence such as videos, audio clips or photos of the incident.

What is a media source?

Media sources can include newspapers, magazines, television, radio, online news services, social media sites and blogs. While these sources can be crucial in your collection efforts, it is important to assess their credibility.