The job of the investigative journalist is to look at how things are supposed to work and report when something is amiss. Sometimes they can follow a paper trail and talk to enough people on the record to get the story. Often, they need an inside source – a whistleblower.

And often the whistleblower needs the press to get the word out. Or they find themselves sucked into a news story, like it or not. A letter from a Congressional committee ends up in a Washington Post story, triggering the cascade of events now playing out. Calls from a reporter shine light on misbehavior of a legendary opera singer, TV host or movie mogul.

The relationship is never simple. The journalists and the whistleblowers don’t always have the same agenda. Depending on who is blowing the whistle and how, it often can hurt a whistleblower’s options if they run to the press first.
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Members of the “Whistleblower 101” panel held on Thursday morning.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The bipartisan Whistleblower Protection Caucus hosted a “Whistleblower 101” educational workshop on Thursday morning. The event, held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, featured a panel of experts from Project on Government Oversight (POGO), the Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), National Security Agency (NSA), and Department of Justice (DOJ). Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Stephen M. Kohn was the moderator of the panel.


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The 90th Academy Awards yesterday featured a diverse set of films nominated for Best Picture, including a whistleblower film called The Post. Based on a true story, the movie centers on the fight to publish top-secret U.S. government information on the Vietnam War leaked by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. The star-studded cast includes Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

In the spirit of The Posts’ Oscar recognition, here are some other riveting whistleblower films that you can enjoy on the big screen.


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Crippling Loopholes in the Tax and Wall Street Whistleblower Reward Laws are Closed

WASHINGTON, D.C. | February 9, 2018The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, approved today by the U.S. Congress, included two key whistleblower-rights amendments initially introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA). These amendments ensure that employees who blow the whistle on criminal tax fraudsters are covered under the IRS whistleblower law, and end the double-taxation of whistleblower awards under the Dodd-Frank Act.


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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a decision in the whistleblower case of former UBS banker Bradley C. Birkenfeld.

Mr. Birkenfeld’s brother, Douglas Birkenfeld, and his attorneys, Stephen M. Kohn and Dean A. Zerbe, will make statements at a National Whistleblowers Center press conference tomorrow, September 11, 2012, at 10:00am ET. The press conference

On Monday, July 16, 2012, the National Whistleblowers Center will host a 2-hour training seminar that covers new whistleblower laws and the special Department of Labor litigation process. These new laws cover millions of employees who blow the whistle on a wide variety of issues, so this training is absolutely essential for attorneys, journalists, community