The Whistleblower’s Dilemma: Loyalty vs. Moral Obligation

Protesters in Berlin supporting famed whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation
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Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning’s actions may have sparked an international dialogue and their names may be universally recognized, but their courage isn’t universally revered. All the way back in 2002, Time magazine named three whistleblowers as People of the Year, and famed tipsters such as Frank Serpico and Jeffrey Wigand have been the subject of major films. Yet vitriol continues against people willing to speak out when they see crimes being committed.

Why are those who dare to to expose corruption and worse so frequently ostracized? Why are we so quick to call treason on those who speak truth in the face of power, and what obligation do we have to support and protect those that speak up?

Wendy Addison is an accountant who herself became a whistleblower in one of South Africa’s most notorious cases of corporate corruption. Her organization Speak Up Speak Out provides online resources to whistleblowers around the world. This week she speaks with RadioWhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman.


Panorama credits:

David Shankbone / Flickr Creative Commons

Tony Webster / Creative Commons

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