Blueprint for Free Speech gives Whistleblowing Prizes and Special Recognition Awards to highlight the bravery of those whistleblowers who come forward in the public interest.
Blueprint awards prizes to whistleblowers in order to:
Blueprint is one of the few NGOs globally active in advocating for the legal protection of whistleblowers and whistleblowing, and particularly protections for going to the media. Whistleblowing is important both as an individual form of freedom of expression (the right to dissent from wrongdoing) as well as supporting freedom of expression via the media.
The Blueprint Whistleblower Prizes and Special Recognition Awards acknowledge the recipient’s bravery, in the face of difficult ethical challenges, to reveal the truth, and their desire to create positive change in society.
They are awarded for bravery, integrity and positive impact on the public interest.
We note that whistleblowers commonly have a devotion to truth and freedom of speech, and a commitment to positive change. The whistleblower may also have also endured significant or sustained reprisal, demonstrated a willingness to risk their individual freedom or personal harm, and suffered significant personal loss.
Whistleblowing is the disclosure of information about serious wrongdoing encountered in a work-related situation – for example serious illegal activity, endemic corruption, fraud, or serious public health and safety breaches – where that disclosure of information is in the public interest.
Blueprint for Free Speech is an internationally focused not-for-profit organisation concentrating on research into and support for freedom of expression. Our areas of research include public interest disclosure (whistleblowing), censorship, the right to publish, media law, Internet freedom, and freedom of information.
While the information revealed by whistleblowers is of vital importance, the risk associated with revealing information and speaking freely against powerful interests can be very high.
It often requires a remarkable level of bravery for someone to come forward and make a disclosure. Commonly, instead of acknowledging the usefulness of exposing corruption, an organisation will harass or intimidate the whistleblower, terminate their employment or otherwise tarnish their reputation. In some cases, a whistleblower might face threats of violence or actual violence as a result of speaking out.
In recent years, a there have been a number of high-profile disclosures about organisations that have captured the public’s attention through media reports. This is important. Yet, there are thousands of much smaller cases that go unnoticed, where whistleblowers bravely make their disclosure, suffer the consequences of reprisal, and go unrewarded.
Blueprint wants to change this culture so that whistleblowers are recognised as brave women and men who sometimes risk everything for the sake of the public interest. It is a sign of progress that the public increasingly recognises the important contribution whistleblowing can make in society.
Prize recipients are chosen following extensive research into cases, and based on recommendations from the broader community, including journalists, academics, activists, victims of wrongdoing and corruption, lawyers specialising in the field and civil society organisations. A judging panel, composed of eminent journalists and community advocacy people, makes the final determination.
The decision of the judges’ panel is final. Blueprint accepts no liability for failing to award anyone a prize other than the person(s) who has been awarded the prize.