Today's whistleblowers are treated far more harshly, both by the authorities and the mainstream media, often facing lengthly prison terms or a life on the run
This is an sadly true situation. I've been thinking about what we can do to make whistle-blowing less terrible. Besides whistleblower protections. I think we need to educate people about the opportunities for qui tam cases. That's a case for example when a military contractor rips off the government and the person sues the contractor on behalf of the government. They then get a percent of the fines.
I think that if you are going to be treated so harshly you might as well profit from it.
Even the RW can understand that reasoning.
Also I think that we need to help develop the infrastructure for helping people talk to journalists in a secure fashion. Check out the Strongbox by The New Yorker.
It's based on the technology that Aaron Swartz put together.