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Introducing the MinnPost Intelligencer

Welcome to the MinnPost Intelligencer, a new blog for investigative reporting and data-driven projects with a crucial twist: We're expanding our network of sources to include you and your network of trusted colleagues and friends. We want you for reporting efforts, as idea generators, sources and content contributors.

The response to our first crowdsourcing experiment was encouraging. I asked for stories from inside Minnesota's underfunded court system and close to 100 judges, prosecutors, public defenders, clerks and other critical court staff responded. The connections we made and the things they shared are driving my investigation into the court system and will be helpful in guiding MinnPost's future courts coverage.

We want every issue we cover to be informed by the people in the trenches. Forget the talking heads; bring on the real experts.

How can you help?
You tell me. There's a simple and secure tip form at the bottom of this post. What you share will not be published, it will be confidential and will help to inform and guide our reporting.


Is something not quite right in your workplace? Are you concerned about a memo or some other correspondence that's fallen into your lap? Are you working with information in a database that you think ought to be shared?

Maybe you work with a government agency or nonprofit that works with the public. What trends are you seeing? Are the problems you encounter changing before your eyes? Tell me about it.

Or maybe you've had a troublesome encounter with a government agency, a nonprofit, or law enforcement. It's just one person's story, sure, but you may not be alone.

No information is too small; no database or document is too obscure; no single experience is insignificant. I can't use everything, but I'm eager to hear anything.

You don't have to use the tip sheet. You can contact me via Twitter direct message at @jsguntzel. We can do this the old-fashioned way too: call me at 612-455-6964 or email me at jsguntzel@minnpost.com or mail the material to MinnPost's offices at 900 6th Ave. SE. #220, Minneapolis, 55414. You can even send a fax to 612-455-6960.

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Comments (5)

A techie would be able to clarify this, but internet IP addresses *can* be traced, so would-be tipsters should probably be cautious about using their workplace computer to submit tips.

Just sayin'.

An anonymous survey I can understand...but anonymous tips; something else...

However well intentioned and professional your approach, anonymity by its very nature in a free society suggests truth; or questionable incidents or unacceptable policies reported in a concealed or anonymous way; revealed in the shadows...for whose protection and what possible intent?

Sounds a bit more furtive than "investigative", or have I interpreted wrong?

Or maybe that's what happens when a society slowly closes down its exits and its entrances and fear takes over...are we there already?

Congratulations, Jeff! I'll keep my eyes and ears open.

Beryl,

Thanks for your comments. Before there were simple and secure forms for soliciting tips from a community of readers online there was the telephone and the U.S. Postal Service. For as long as I've been a reporter I've been getting calls and packages from people who want to help tell a story but don't want their names used. Nothing new there.

Here at The Intelligencer I will make specific requests far more often than I will make broad requests--but why not open the lines and see who gets in touch?

It's a big state and there are infinite stories out there. A reporter's job is to use every possible tool to build a community of sources and listen to them. Listening is the key.

Whether I'm staring at a screen, sitting in some office with a notebook in my hand, talking on the phone, or reading the responses to my posts I'm always listening. I'm one giant ear. It's what makes this job great.

J.S Guntzel...

Hey thanks for the explanatory response. I think I will stuff the cynic in me, back in my old rucksack; momentarily anyway... and watch something new and innovative develop here.

With emphasis on "investigative" you will have a wide open field on this site...my best to your success in trying something original.