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What does “public interest” mean for whistleblowers?

Tambini, Damian (2013) What does “public interest” mean for whistleblowers? Media Policy Blog (05 Apr 2013). Website.

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Holding public institutions to account often depends on those inside that witness wrongdoing “blowing the whistle” or journalists being able get information from those insiders. Since the Leveson Inquiry we have heard complaints from journalists that public institutions are clamping down on communication with the press, especially the police. But mechanisms for regulating and restricting an individual’s communication with journalists have been around since before the Inquiry – contained within employment contracts, settlement agreement and others. During a Gags, Blags, and Whistleblowers session at the 2013 Polis Journalism Conference, panellists discussed the potential chilling effects of these mechanisms, particularly in the post-Leveson environment. There seemed to be a consensus that the public interest is often served by enabling insiders to give information to the press. The problem for whistleblowers and journalists, however, is understanding precisely when that public interest arises. What does “public interest” actually mean?

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
K Law > K Law (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Date Deposited: 31 May 2017 08:32
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 19:09

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