Roy Gutterman is a contributor to the newly launched Whistleblower Project

By Wendy S. Loughlin

March 13, 2018
Photo of Roy Gutterman

Roy Gutterman of the Newhouse School is part of the team contributing to the Whistleblower Project, a new initiative dedicated to spreading awareness to ensure that whistleblowers and the journalists who work with them are protected and supported. A collaboration between the Society of Professional Journalists and the Government Accountability Project, the project was announced yesterday in conjunction with Sunshine Week.

Content offered as part of the web-based project includes best practices for working with whistleblowers; ways for journalists to protect information and communication with their sources; profiles of 25 whistleblowers who have changed history; potential laws that would help improve protection for whistleblowers; and information to help reporters protect sources from retaliation.

In his piece, “Whistleblowers and Reporters: Trust,” Gutterman writes:  “Because reporter’s privilege standards vary from state to state and efforts to pass a federal shield law have been unsuccessful, reporters find themselves in potentially-precarious positions when dealing with confidentiality.”

Gutterman is an associate professor of newspaper and online journalism and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at the Newhouse School.

The Whistleblower Project will host an event, “Truth Be Told: Whistleblowers, Journalism & Democracy,” tomorrow, March 14, at 7 p.m. EST. Government employees who reported serious abuses at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will share their experiences blowing the whistle, and seasoned journalists who have covered whistleblower issues and worked with whistleblowers will share how they worked with to verify and report their sources’ information while minimizing their risk of retaliation. The event, held at the University of the District of Columbia, will be webcast live.