Send us a tip
Here at The Plainsman, we know our readers and community stakeholders are the best and most consistent sources of news and happenings. Yo have the best access to newsworthy info, news tips and documents that you may want to share with us.
With that being said, we are moving forward with a plan to make our newsroom more accessible to sources, tipsters and even whistleblowers. We are setting up a number of ways that you can reach us anonymously or on the record.
Below are options for communicating with us.
We never run a story solely sourced by a tip. We always investigate tips before publishing. Please know that if you submit a tip anonymously, we need to be able to back up your tip. We will never publish your name without speaking to you first.
Signal — http://www.signal.org
Good for Sensitive Tips
Signal is a free, secure and encrypted messaging app with end-to-end encryption that will give your tips and messages a protective layer that Signal and its parent company, Open Whisper Systems, can't even access.
No system is 100 percent secure, but this option allows you to communicate with our editor anonymously and in a way that is more encrypted and safer than traditional means such as email or phone.
You can send image attachments and even video or audio call. Signal will only remember your phone number and the last time you signed in. No records are saved of your conversations, not even of who you talked to or for how long. Like Snapchat, you can also set your messages to disappear after a preset period of time.
Your tips will reach one designated member of our staff, our editor, not the staff generally. All tips will remain confidential and anonymous unless you choose otherwise. We are committed to handling any sensitive information wisely and responsibly.
To reach us, just download the Signal app on your phone, set up your account and message us at 205-46A-UTIP (205-462-8847)
Tox Chat or Antidote
Good for Sensitive Tips
Tox Chat works much like Signal, except that there are no centralized servers. Because of that, it's perhaps more secure than even Signal. You also do not need to input a cell phone number to set up an account. To use Tox Chat, you need to download a client like qTox (for mac) or Antidote (for iOS).
Good for Quick Tips
Pretty much everyone has it, and it's easy you use. The downside is that these messages are not as secure. If you have a general news tip and don't feel like emailing, for example, police are on your street or you saw a bad car wreck, this is a great option. If you have a more sensitive tip and could be retaliated against for sharing it, we suggest using Signal instead. If you want to share a press release or something of that nature, the next option, email, is best.
Don't be worried, we won't share the conversation or save your number unless you give us your express permission.
To reach us, just send us a message at 205-46A-UTIP (205-462-8847). You can also call our newsroom at 334-844-9108.
Good for General News Tips and Press Releases
Similarly to SMS Messaging, this method is easy and convenient because most people already have it. But it's far less secure, particularly if you're a University employee. But this is the easiest method if you have a general news tip or a press release you would like to send our way. We'll do our best to respond, and if it's newsworthy, it will most likely make it to print.
To reach us, just email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org