media & legal strategies
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Useful Information

Helpful tips once you have decided to blow the whistle

1) Ideally do not tell anyone you are going to blow the whistle. If you want to speak to someone for advice make sure they are trustworthy.

2) Do not email information from work to your own personal email address. It is useful to set up a hotmail account that gives no clue as to your identity.

3) Do not make telephone calls from your work place about whistleblowing. Companies can easily trace telephone numbers.

4) Documentary evidence is very helpful in exposing wrong-doing. Photocopy any documents that may be relevant.

5) Do not change your pattern of behaviour before and after blowing the whistle. React to events as if you are an outsider.

 

Links

Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 - http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/ukpga_19980023_en_1

Jonathan Hartley Associates- publicist - http://www.publicityagent.co.uk 

kns news- selling stories and pictures - http://www.sell-story.co.uk 

 

Read the experience of one of our whistleblowers:

The TV insider who blew the whistle on the phone-in scandal on Channel 4’s Richard and Judy Show said that her decision to expose the con set her on an exhilarating and rewarding journey.

The anonymous source said: ‘I first realised that thousands of viewers were entering the “You Say, We Pay” competition with no chance of winning last January.

‘I raised it with my bosses but no-one seemed to care. I got a very blasé response and was told it wasn’t a big issue.

‘We were well aware of the demographic of the viewers which included pensioners, single mums and unemployed people and the more I thought about how they were being ripped off the more it annoyed me.

‘All anyone was worried about was the money coming in . I felt very frustrated and powerless in my job.

‘By February I didn’t want to be a part of it; professionally or morally.

‘I decided I wanted to leave but I didn’t have a job to go to and I still needed to pay the bills so I thought I’d sell the story. I figured it meant I could expose the problem and get some money to help plan my escape.

‘The most difficult thing was knowing where to go and who to trust. I made some initial approaches to newspapers and press agencies. At one point I contacted the BBC but didn’t get a reply.

‘I had two main concerns. The first was that I would keep my anonymity and the second was that someone would take my information and run off with it.

‘I spoke to Mark and Jonathan and they convinced me that they would look after me. They gave me contracts guaranteeing my anonymity and ensuring nothing would be printed until my payment was agreed.

‘They spoke to the Mail on Sunday and put me in touch with one of their reporters.

‘I was quite surprised by the level of evidence I had to get to satisfy the Mail on Sunday. They were incredibly thorough and kept checking and double-checking every piece of information.

‘They worked on the story all week asking me for more information.

 ‘On the Sunday when the story came out I couldn’t sleep the night before. That morning I felt really sick but it was strange because at the same time I was really excited about it.

‘I didn’t leave my flat that day and just looked at the article on-line. I kept reading it.

‘I was dreading going into work the next day but I’d been coached by Jonathan on how to act. I pretended to be as bemused as anyone as to how the story had come out. I was told I had to convince myself I wasn’t the whistleblower.

‘The strange thing was that I never really came under any suspicion. Nobody wanted to believe it was their member of staff and so blamed other people. Channel 4; the production company, Cactus; and the phone line service provider, Eckoh, were all accusing each other.

‘I had told a couple of family members what I had done but no-one else knew. They were concerned the police would get involved but I’d been reassured that my name would be kept well out of it.

‘As the story got bigger and bigger I just couldn’t believe that it was my story that started it all. I felt so proud of what I had done.

‘I loved it every time another TV phone-in scandal story. There was a real feeling of exhilaration.

‘It seemed like for the rest of 2007 there were endless phone-in scandal stories.

‘At the time that I went to the press I hadn’t realised that I could have gone to Ofcom and Ictsis to report what was happening. I have spoken to both organisations since to help them with various bits of information for their investigations. That was very satisfying.

‘I’ve since told a couple of friends that it was me that blew the whistle on the story but apart from them, and some of my family, no-one has a clue it was me.

‘It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of what happened.

‘The only thing I would do differently next time is collect more evidence because there were some other stories that couldn’t be printed.

‘It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Once I got over my nerves and reaIised could trust the people I was dealing with, I absolutely loved the whole thing.’