Feb 2024: No more shooting the messenger

TSN Legal Director Jennifer Gibson writes in an analysis how, in 2021, the New York Times and ProPublica began running a series of articles detailing how much – or in fact how little – America’s wealthiest individuals pay in taxes.

The stories were possible because of one person – Charles Littlejohn, an IRS contractor who leaked the materials. But for shedding light on our tax system’s failings, he earned five years in prison, the maximum sentence possible.

The leaked documents showed the wealthiest Americans and Trump paid little to no federal taxes. Littlejohn, in being sentenced, has been held accountable; these ultra-wealthy and powerful individuals have not.

Read the full analysis here.

Reflecting on our accomplishments in 2023

Thanks to your support, in 2023 we helped dozens of whistleblowers around the world champion the truth as some of the world’s most powerful entities tried to keep it secret.

The courage and sacrifices of these whistleblowers, whether they chose to stay anonymous or go public, resulted in real, long-lasting impact and accountability in Big Tech and other sectors.

You can see what we achieved, by the numbers, here.

TSN, whistleblowers talk journalism at Knight Media Forum in Miami


On Feb. 22, TSN-supported whistleblowers Anika Collier Navaroli, Mark MacGann as well as whistleblower Wendell Potter presented at the Knight Media Forum in Miami, Florida. They discussed the important role whistleblowers play in promoting an informed and accountable society and the need for greater support given the vital role they play in our democracies.

Knight Foundation Vice President of Journalism Jim Brady introduced the panel, which was moderated by TSN Board Member and Missouri School of Journalism Lee Hills Chair in Free Press Studies Kathy Kiely.

You can watch the recording of the panel above and read our recap here.

TSN, Tow Center co-host panel on tech whistleblowers who are women, people of color


On Feb. 15, The Signals Network and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism co-hosted a panel at Columbia University in New York City on what journalists should know when working with whistleblowers, especially when they are women and people of color.

The Markup CEO Nabiha Syed moderated the discussion with Theranos whistleblower Erika Cheung, Facebook whistleblower Sophie Zhang and Twitter whistleblower Anika Collier Navaroli. All three spoke about their experiences working with journalists, developing trust with those journalists and what they wish they had known before blowing the whistle.

You can watch the recording of the panel above and read our recap here.

Mark your calendar…

On April 19 at 10 a.m. EST / 4 p.m. CET, TSN will host a livestreamed panel at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy on how journalists can prepare for A.I. whistleblowers.

The talk will include Time magazine investigative reporter Billy Perrigo, Facebook Files whistleblower Frances Haugen and Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz, who is also on our TSN Board of Advisors.

We’re very excited and hope you can tune in to watch the discussion! Learn more here.

Whistleblower news roundup

Whistleblower News

– In Tennessee, a Vanderbilt doctor shared with ProPublica “the inner workings of the hospital’s abortion committee to give the public a rare glimpse into the tortured decisions she and her colleagues are being forced to make.”

– Whistleblowers working for Texas Child Protective Services have told a Dallas court of more abuses described in missing reports by the state agency, reports Yami Virgin for NEWS4SA.

– The new non-fiction graphic novel “Whistleblowers” by superhero comic artist Dean Motter tells the true story of four men who fought to reveal the existence of the Holocaust to the world, writes Will Salmon for Newsarama.

– New film “The Death of a Whistleblower” from South African director Ian Gabriel is an homage to whistleblowers that “follows an investigative journalist who, with the insider help of a whistleblower, tries to expose the state capture of a corrupt South African security group that’s fueling warfare in Africa and beyond,” writes Thinus Ferreira for Variety.

We invite you to pay tribute to all whistleblowers through a donation to promote truth, justice and transparency.

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