How to share confidential news tips with HCN

A guide to sharing sensitive information with our newsroom.


High Country News encourages tipsters and whistleblowers to contact reporters with information of possible interest to the public. If you have data or documentation regarding unethical or illegal activities by public or private entities, or perhaps something that threatens or could harm the public, we would like to talk to you.

It is important to acknowledge that tipsters and whistleblowers can face legal, economic and psychological consequences for their actions. At HCN, we strive to maintain confidentiality, but we cannot guarantee your safety 100%; simply visiting this page or similar ones on other news sites may leave traceable metadata on your personal or work computer or phone. Before leaking information to us, we recommend that whistleblowers understand the potential legal and personal ramifications of their actions and inform themselves about information security and assess risks. It’s important for you to keep in mind that reporting takes time and that confidential tips and leaks may take months for us to fully investigate.

Visit our friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation for surveillance self-defense tools and tips.

If you desire to speak with HCN and provide information and materials, we offer the following communication routes to help protect your anonymity. Please do not use these channels to send pitches, press releases, story ideas or feedback. Instead, please use our contact form for general correspondence.

Signal is a free, open-source messaging app that enables users to send end-to-end encrypted messages, photos, videos and some files from a phone or desktop. Signal does not preserve any metadata but requires a phone number to register. (Note: This information is retained.) The app can also be configured to allow messages to disappear after a certain period of time. More information about Signal can be found here.

HCN's Signal number: 970-536-2070

Threema offers users end-to-end encrypted messaging, voice calls, location, multimedia and file sharing for IOS, Android and Windows Phone. The app costs $2.99 but does not require a phone number or email to register. Instead of requiring personally identifiable information, Threema generates an ID that allows users to chat anonymously. More information about Threema can be found here.

HCN's Threema ID: BT5VWSYW

Protonmail offers free, end-to-end encrypted email addresses and does not require personal information to register. A Protonmail address allows whistleblowers and tipsters to send files of any kind to HCN's Protonmail address securely. More information about Protonmail can be found here.

HCN's Protonmail address: [email protected]

Postal mail may be old-fashioned but is simple and secure. Send us physical documents or digital files on USB, DVD, hard drive, etc., in an envelope with no return address on the outside of the envelope. Providing a Signal number or Threema ID inside the envelope will help us connect with you.

High Country News Investigations
P.O. Box 1090
Paonia, CO 81428

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