Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Whistleblowing as a form of organizational control is being fostered by the judiciary and legislators. Yet these decisionmakers generally do not view the media as an appropriate whistleblowing recipient. This point was brought into sharp focus when Procter & Gamble persuaded law enforcement agencies to investigate the source of information leaked by "current and former P&G managers" to the Wall Street Journal. Armed with alleged violations of a state trade secrets statute, the corporation and the government effectively bypassed legal protections extended both to whistleblowers and to reporters who refuse to identify their confidential sources. This article evaluates whistleblowing to the media from the perspective of a number of policy objectives. The approaches of Congress, state legislatures, the courts, and arbitrators are examined, as is the interaction between the law governing trade secrets and whistleblowing. The authors recommend changing current legal approaches to whistleblowing to the media.