Apr 2024: Why we need to support Boeing whistleblowers, prepare journalists for A.I. insiders

How journalists can prepare for A.I. whistleblowers

Did you catch our panel at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia?

On Friday, April 19, The Signals Network joined two tech whistleblowers and an investigative reporter at the annual festival in Perugia, Italy for a discussion on how journalists can prepare for A.I. whistleblowers.

The panel included Facebook Files whistleblower Frances Haugen, Time investigative journalist Billy Perrigo and Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz. They were joined by TSN Executive Director Delphine Halgand-Mishra and TSN Legal Director Jennifer Gibson.

“I’m certain that what we will know tomorrow about what’s going on in A.I. [companies] will come from insiders, from whistleblowers,” said Halgand-Mishra, who moderated the panel.

You can watch the panel and learn more here.

Boeing whistleblowers want fliers to be safe. But those whistleblowers should feel safe, too

You may have seen the news about Sam Salehpour, a longtime Boeing engineer, who this month testified to members of the U.S. Senate about the safety of Boeing’s planes.

According to Salehpour, parts of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner planes are improperly fastened together and could weaken over time. The result? After years in operation, the aircraft could break apart in midflight.

As is often the case, Boeing has even more whistleblowers who have not gone public. On April 19, Al Jazeera reported it obtained documents showing Boeing has been the subject of 32 internal complaints in the U.S. during the past three years. Thirteen of those complaints were filed under a statute that protects whistleblowing.

That’s why TSN has created this petition so that Salehpour and all the other Boeing whistleblowers — public and not public — know that we stand with them. And we thank them for having the courage to speak up for the protection of all of us.

TSN joins military journalists, legal experts at veterans symposium

A big thanks to our friends at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic for including us in the clinic’s 2024 symposium, “Searching for Truth: When Media and Military Come Together” at the University of Missouri.

The Signals Network’s Sarah Gamard spoke on a panel titled “The Important Role of Whistleblowers” alongside Mary Inman, partner at Whistleblower Partners; Kelly Kennedy, who reported on military burn pits for the news publication War Horse; and Marine Corps veteran Dan Clare, who was Kennedy’s whistleblower source and is now chief communications officer for the nonprofit Disabled American Veterans.

Missouri attorney Joanna Trachtenberg of TGH Litigation LLC moderated the 90-minute discussion, which you can watch and read more about here.

Whistleblower: John Barnett’s Life and Death Highlight the Impact of Whistleblowing on Mental Health

Twitter whistleblower Anika Collier Navaroli, who receives support from TSN, this month reflected on the life and death of Boeing whistleblower John Barnett in a think-piece, which we were happy to share.

She reflected on how she felt learning about his death and the similarities she saw in both their journeys.

Here’s a snippet:

It’s not your fault,” I whispered to the still image of Barnett that emblazoned the screen. “You did everything within your power that you could do.”

But those weren’t just my words. They were the same words my therapist repeated to me each time I returned to her proverbial couch. And looking at Barnett’s face as a mirror, it finally clicked. If I believed it for him, then I had to believe it for myself.

Barnett’s life made evident the volatile mental health toll that the journey and role as a public whistleblower takes. His death also highlights the need for more financial, operational, and professional resources for those who walk that path.

Read the full piece here.

Whistleblower news roundup

Whistleblower News

– Co-hosts Natasha Lovel and Martin Bright of Parrhesia Tapes, a podcast series on free speech and whistleblowing, interview SBM Offshore whistleblower Jonathan Taylor, who exposed bribery within the Dutch multinational oil company in 2012, about his whistleblowing journey.

– Thousands of employees at federal contractors do not have whistleblower protections despite a 2013 law, reports Charlotte Keith for Spotlight PA.

– As more Boeing whistleblowers go public, Marisa Garcia reports for Forbes that the Federal Aviation Administration’s AIR21 program for whistleblowers “urgently needs fixing.”

– Tesla whistleblower Cristina Bala says she wants Elon Musk to publicly apologize to her before she dies for how she was treated for raising safety concerns, reports Zoe Kleinman for BBC News.

– Colorado lawmakers have introduced a police oversight bill that would protect whistleblowers from retaliation, reports Bruce Finley for The Denver Post.

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