This has been described as ‘the age of the whistleblower’. The activities of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange have produced disclosures of an unprecedented scale and impact. Whistleblowers are both lionized – Snowden has been nominated for several awards – and despised as traitors. But even while we praise their courage, our treatment of people who expose uncomfortable truths is deeply ambivalent and often harsh in the extreme. It makes whistleblowing ‘a near suicidal vocation’.
April 2014, Issue 471