Dec 2023: Journalists continue to be targeted for sources as U.S. weighs federal shield law

As we end 2023, a growing trend that must be highlighted this year is the increased pressure on journalists to reveal their anonymous sources, many of whom are whistleblowers.

Cases have popped up across the U.S. and Europe this year. And just this month, another caught our attention: Former Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge faces being held in contempt of court if she does not reveal her source for investigative stories about a federal probe of a Chinese American scientist.

Journalists like Herridge are at risk of these situations because there is currently no federal “shield law” in the U.S. that allows reporters the privilege of refusing to disclose their anonymous sources.

Read more here.

How we support whistleblowers as they “fight an injustice of a lifetime”

As we saw in our first two videos of 2023, whistleblowers have changed the world in the past 50 years by speaking truth to power. But when they do, they often face major repercussions and hardship for speaking out.

In our final video of 2023, we hear from those whom The Signals Network has supported, and from our own team. Learn how we support those who risk everything to expose truth to power.

If you haven’t already, please share these videos with your networks so we can continue to spread the word and support more whistleblowers in 2024.

From our legal team: Why don’t we protect whistleblowers like other human rights defenders?

Thoughts from TSN

December marked the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which heavily influenced the career of our Whistleblower Protection Program Manager Mia Marzotto.

Mia previously worked in humanitarian law before her current role protecting whistleblowers who speak out against human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. She wrote about how whistleblowers are integral to protecting human rights and deserve better protections themselves.

Read Mia’s piece here.

Whistleblower news roundup

Whistleblower News

Martha Gill for The Guardian: “From the contaminated blood scandal to Hillsborough, we need whistleblowers now more than ever.”

—Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his aides have been ordered to answer questions under oath related to bribery and corruption. It’s the latest development in a three-year whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, writes Patrick Svitek for The Texas Tribune.

Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken for CNN: “Four women who say they were subjected to sexual assault and harassment at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy testified to Congress about how they were silenced, retaliated against and left battling severe mental trauma while alleged perpetrators continued to thrive within the service.”

Meaghan Tobin for The Washington Post: Gao Yaojie, the whistleblower doctor exiled from China after she exposed an AIDS epidemic in the 1990s, has died at 95.

P.S. … Do you have a friend or colleague who is interested in holding power to account? Help us grow our mailing list! They can sign up for our newsletter here.

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