Do you want to share something with The Texas Tribune? We have several ways you can share confidential tips, documents or photographs with our reporters and editors. While no communication channel is completely secure, these tools can help you protect your anonymity. Below we outline several tools – from snail mail to apps – that help you discreetly share information with us.
Please don’t use these channels for feedback, comments, pitches or press releases — we welcome general correspondence like that here.
What makes a good tip?
A good news tip identifies a clear issue or problem with real-world consequences. Try to be specific. Sharing documentation or evidence fortifies your tip; hunches or rumors don’t. When submitting a tip, consider the Tribune’s editorial focus: statewide politics and policy.
Good tips would include items like the following:
- Evidence that an elected official is breaking the law
- Proof that a state leader is misleading the public
- Data that contradicts claims made by a state agency
Not all tips are smoking guns. Perhaps you know of a dataset for which we should file an open records request. Feel free to let us know about those, too.
We review tips as they come in, but we cannot promise that each will receive an individual response. Thank you for sharing your tips with The Texas Tribune.
For confidential submissions, it’s hard to beat good ol’ snail mail. If you’re concerned about confidentiality, don’t put your name or return address on the envelope. We recommend you use an unfamiliar public mailbox — do not send it from home, work or a post office.
Mail correspondence, documents or photographs here:
The Texas Tribune
919 Congress Ave.
The Sixth Floor
Austin, TX 78701
WhatsApp is a free messaging app that supports end-to-end encryption. Once the sender and receiver have installed and configured the app, they can share messages, photos, videos, documents and calls. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. You can limit some WhatsApp account information from Facebook, but the app still records the phone numbers involved in an exchange, along with some metadata, such as timestamps on messages.
Signal is a free and open-source messaging app that supports end-to-end encryption. Like WhatsApp, Signal also allows you to share photos and videos. Unlike WhatsApp, Signal retains no metadata, such as the numbers you called or timestamps. Plus, the app allows messages to self-destruct. That means messages can be set to disappear from the recipient’s and sender’s phones after they’ve been seen.
Email us using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), software that helps you send encrypted emails and documents. One way to send encrypted email is with Mailvelope, a free browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. Mailvelope only encrypts the content of your email; it does not encrypt metadata, such as sender, recipient, time or subject. The contents of the message will be encrypted, but whom you communicate with will typically be stored. This metadata will be available to your email provider.