Watchdogs and Whistleblowers

A friend asks the difference between watchdogs and whistleblowers.  Let's start with basic definitions:
Whistleblower: An informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it.

Watchdog: A person or group serving as a guardian or protector against waste, loss or illegal practices.
Similar, then. To me, a basic difference is that a whistleblower usually works from within and has a specific knowledge area or concern (such as an employee), while a watchdog works from without and is a generalist (such as a journalist).

Both are usually motivated by concern for public interest and the common good -- a quality in increasingly short supply.


  1. Much like The Blind Bulldog Blog a family court watchdog. I work from without to expose the illegal practice of auctioning children to the highest bidder in family court.

  2. Interesting reading. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing, Blind Bulldog.