My latest project at work is creating a proposal for the implementation of whistleblower programs for various media organizations. It is critical that organizations have an outlet for employees to submit their concerns, no matter how controversial they are. By implementing policies and programs that ensure protection through anonymity, a company is engaging in better business ethics. A successful system typically depends on the ability of the organization to protect the whistleblower’s identity. To do this, a third party organization is often hired to process complaints and formulate reports that are sent back to the host organization. Any organization in any industry can benefit from anonymous reporting, but we are focusing on pushing for the adoption of such programs in the Israeli and Palestinian journalism world.
This is a cause I feel very strongly about. The ability to freely express oneself in all ways without fear of conviction or criticism is crucial to successful democracies. Unfortunately, there is not a state in the world that has total transparency and serves justice to wrongdoers. By acknowledging this reality and being proactive, however, is a step in the right direction. Organizations that are willing to pursue anonymous reporting mechanisms show dedication to giving their employee’s a voice. Studies show that the best way to fight workplace misconduct, ranging from sexual harassment to misuse of intellectual property, is internally through employees’ tips. In the journalism world this is perhaps even more important, as journalists and editors are gatekeepers to information for the public. Our hope if that journalists will use such reporting systems to also notify authorities of bias or unfair representations of events. I believe that many journalists face ethical and personal dilemmas when writing for a media agency and often put their personal well-being aside in order to write an appealing story that fits the organization’s agenda. By enabling journalists to voice their compaints anonymously, perhaps Israeli and Palestinaian media can paint a more informed, neutral picture.