Reporting internally and informing the public

If you report misconduct to your employer, it is worth clarifying whether your organization has introduced a whistleblowing policy and the corresponding mechanisms. If appropriate measures have been implemented in the workplace, the case should be reported either to the responsible official/employee in accordance with the whistleblowing policy, or you will be directed to the channel (e.g. dedicated hotline) to report the misconduct.

While many organizations encourage reporting, there are those who may not consider it relevant. However, an organization that values honesty and openness should have clear policies and procedures in place, such as different channels for reporting (e.g. hotline, e-mail, online platform for receiving confidential reports), sharing information confidentially, efficient procedures to follow up/investigate the report and providing feedback within a reasonable timeframe.

Contacting the journalists should not be the first step in reporting an incident. Journalists can be friendly, pleasant, supportive and good listeners, but they generally act in the public interest, not the interests of the whistleblower. It should also be taken into account that journalists may not publish your story and solve the issue.

If you are talking to a journalist but are not sure you want to publish the story, be sure to say that you are speaking “off-the-record". You should also be aware that if journalists find enough information about the case elsewhere and believe that the publication of the story is in the public interest, they may do so.