In my 30-year career as a journalist, I’ve spoken with thousands of potential sources, some of them with interesting tips or insider knowledge, others with massive datasets to share. Conversations often start with questions about the basics of whistleblowing. If you’re thinking about leaking information, here are some of the things you should keep in mind:
Q. What is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is someone who has evidence of wrongdoing, abuse of power, fraud or misconduct and who shares it with a third party such as an investigative journalism organization like the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Q. Can a whistleblower remain anonymous?
Yes. We will always go out of our way to protect whistleblowers. You can remain anonymous for as long as you want, and, in fact, this is sometimes the best protection that journalists can offer whistleblowers.
Q. What information should I include?
To enable a thorough investigation, you should include a detailed description of the issue you are concerned about. Ideally, you should also include documents or data. The more information you provide, the better the work the journalists can do.
Q. Why leak to ICIJ?
ICIJ is a nonprofit organization that has built a network of some of the best investigative journalists in the world – journalists who make it their mission to investigate wrongdoing. We have a global organization of more than 220 journalists from 83 countries who collaborate on in-depth stories. Together, we produce investigative journalism in the public interest that is driven by data and technological innovation. Our unique model is collaborative, based on the idea that journalists who work together and share information will have vastly more impact than one journalist working alone.
Recent examples of our work include the Paradise Papers and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Panama Papers, which investigated the shadowy offshore industry. These investigations have generated powerful long-lasting impact. For a behind-the-scenes look at how such a large investigation works watch this HBO/Vice documentary on the Paradise Papers.
We also do regional investigations. One recent example was West Africa Leaks, the largest-ever collaboration of journalists from West Africa. Al Jazeera produced a documentary on this project that goes behind the scenes on how a collaboration like this comes together.
Leaking information to ICIJ ensures that it will reach the eyes of journalists from reputable news organizations – such as The New York Times, the BBC, The Guardian and Le Monde, to name just a few. Your information may lead the journalists to work together to produce big stories and big scoops that most of them could not afford to work on separately.
Under the ICIJ model, the story becomes more important than any one media brand, with clear public interest and public service results.
Q. How do I get in contact with ICIJ?
There are a number of ways to contact ICIJ. Here are some secure methods.
If you are trying to contact us from inside a government agency or corporation we recommend that you access the communication channels from a device that is not connected to your employer’s intranet.
To speak with one of our reporters, you can use one of the contact methods here or send us an email:
- Amy Wilson-Chapman (English)
PGP Key: 9193 3A0E 204B 0846 CC1D 137A C137 0C34 A3F7 DC15
- Ben Hallman (English)
PGP Key: 4746 BE93 CC1B 96D4 DD12 A532 5394 92CE 60E8 A8CF
- Cecile Gallego (French, English)
PGP Key: 8DE5 4431 8540 B07F 710F E782 CC2E BB0D 0349 659F
- Dean Starkman (English)
PGP Key: EAE9 1AEF 77AD 8DC9 17F6 5F79 2E1F 722F B03B D389
- Emilia Diaz-Struck (Spanish, English, German)
PGP Key: 7ADD 443C 270C 2191 1DEE DAD1 2326 0A4A 1761 A34A
- Fergus Shiel (English)
PGP Key: F48C 6E47 3C98 7CF6 624C A67C AFF6 8B42 EBE3 3182
- Gerard Ryle (English)
PGP Key: 69B6 A4E8 7028 B941 1528 2D32 019E E3D9 52B1 C89D
- Hamish Boland-Rudder (English)
PGP Key: AB67 2371 3458 DABB 724F 13BD B0E4 A2DD CCB1 2576
- Petra Blum (German, English)
PGP Key: 96A4 E38E D4D9 C2A9 3BA4 46EB 9170 2318 3D8A 6074
- Pierre Romera (French, English)
PGP Key: 5713 C735 4E9B A71C DA93 9524 FBC0 594D 4C47 18E1
- Sasha Chavkin (English, Spanish)
PGP Key: 854B D347 735B 7B86 E4B5 4252 4B5F E7A4 6C54 B37C
- Scilla Alecci (Italian, English, Japanese)
PGP Key: 03E0 BD23 1719 C94A 25C3 DB3F B7EE A64F 28C4 1199
- Simon Bowers (English)
PGP Key: AF70 0117 4769 B572 2BE7 D227 D7B2 2924 E2B6 9815
- Spencer Woodman (English)
PGP Key: 860C 8684 79DB B1BC B784 4CAF 1A0D 6729 D2D8 18EF
- Will Fitzgibbon (English, French)
PGP Key: 0D33 C0FA F380 EBAA 9DEA 64A8 1D37 F9FD B4ED 9F02