BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - To hold our government agencies and officials accountable, journalists need courageous people to share information. Stories need to be told about failures, corruption, and wrongdoing. But we need people who have knowledge of such things to be our guide.
To help those who have stories for us, and to help you provide the information discreetly, we have put together this short guide on who to contact in our newsroom and the best way to reach them. We also provide tips for the most secure ways to transmit the information.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to sort through names and specialties, you have two options:
The WBRC Investigative Team
Investigator Jennifer Horton is the newest member of the WBRC Investigative Team but is not new to the area. She worked as an Investigative Reporter for our station in Montgomery, WSFA, for 12 years. Her reporting there focused on issues involving criminal justice, specifically crime, government corruption, and the state and federal court system. You can reach her via email at email@example.com or her office number. It is 205-583-4337.
Anchor and Investigative Reporter Jonathan Hardison reports on a variety of subjects, including problems with local utilities, our poor open records law, and tracking government spending on things like Coronavirus, education and more. Right now, he is working to answer your questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. His office number is 205-583-4323.
Anchor and Investigative Reporter Morgan Hightower can be reached via email at email@example.com. Her office number is 205-583-4389. Morgan’s focus right now is covering the coronavirus pandemic. She’s also investigating racial disparities in Alabama, and focuses on stories protecting children, helping the elderly, and exposing scams.
Investigative Reporter Josh Gauntt specializes in consumer issues and accountability. He has been seeking records on Birmingham’s Shotspotter system for years. He has also covered cemetery issues for many years and the lawmakers responsible for regulating them. You can reach Josh via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His office number is 205-327-5852.
If you want to contact us anonymously
There are dos and don’ts for whistleblowing. Here are some general guidelines to follow and ways to contact us.
- Don’t visit our website at work.
- Don’t email us from a work account or computer.
- Don’t subscribe to our newsletter with your work email account.
- Don’t tell anyone about your plans, and don’t use your work phone or email to contact us.
Protect your messages
Our Investigative Reporter Team uses an app called Signal to encrypt text message. This can prevent an outside observer from reading what you write to us. Download the Signal app here. You can message the team via Signal at 205-719-2136. Or, send us your Signal number through snail mail or via a friend. One of us will contact you discreetly.
If you really want to be anonymous when you contact us, the U.S. mail is a good way to go. A warrant would be needed to intercept and open it in transit.
Don’t use your company or agency mailroom to send something to us. Mail your package or envelope from a sidewalk box instead of going to a post office. You can mail us paper materials or digital files on, for example, a thumb drive.”
Our mailing address is: WBRC FOX6 News 1720 Valley View Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209
One thing to remember if you want us to pursue your story is that we will need to be able to contact you to verify what you’ve sent us. If you send us something in the mail, please include (inside the envelope) the manner in which you’d like us to reach you.