The emergence of an everyday digital culture and the increasing use of legal instruments by state actors to collect and access communications data has led to growing concern about the protection of journalistic sources and whistleblowers.
With the support of Guardian News and Media, the Information Law and Policy Centre has published a report to consider these developments entitled ‘Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in a Digital Age‘.
Authored by Dr Judith Townend and Dr Richard Danbury, the report analyses how technological advances expose journalists and their sources to interference by state actors, corporate entities or individuals.
The report also looks at how journalists can reduce threats to whistleblowing; examines the rights and responsibilities of journalists, whistleblowers and lawmakers; and makes a number of positive recommendations for policymakers, journalists, NGOs and researchers.
The report’s findings are based on discussions with 25 investigative journalists, representatives from relevant NGOs and media organisations, media lawyers and specialist researchers in September 2016.
Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in a Digital Age was officially launched on 22 February 2017 at the House of Lords.
- Download the report here (February 2017)
- Download the update here (16.2.2017)
- Press coverage of the report here
Alongside the report, the Information Policy Law and Policy Centre has also published a range of open access resources on journalistic sources and whistleblowing which are available by clicking on the images below.
Acknowledgements: to Dr Andrew Scott (LSE) and Gillian Phillips (Guardian News and Media) for their input to the report (though errors remain the authors’ own); and to Dr Daniel Bennett, Jenna Corderoy and Dr Aljosha Karim Schapals for additional research assistance.