April 6, 2017 Last Updated 9:58 am

The Nation launches confidential tips resource, adopting encrypted tools for whistleblowers

The Nation rolled out its own tips mechanism, a sign that with so many US government agencies under attack, and an administration that is described as a kleptocracy, there will be a lot of loose information out there looking for a home.

The Nation is such an interesting publication. Not only is it the US’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine, but it is often at its most popular when in opposition.  It’s circulation grew to over 180K when George Bush became president, but has fallen back down to 121K at the end of the Obama administration. It will be interesting to see if it rises once again under Trump.

Of course, times change, and today the website I’m sure is growing its traffic.

As Wikipedia points out, The Nation was founded just after the Civil War as a successor to William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator. Its influence has always exceeded its business success. Few advertisers see a left wing political magazine as a great place to build their brands. But, honestly, it had got to be a better vehicle than running an ad on The Factor, right? Maybe its next issue will contain more ads than the next episode of Bill O’Reilly’s show, wouldn’t that just drive Rupert Murdoch crazy.

Here is the announcement for The Nation’s new tip feature:

New York, NY—April 6, 2017 — Long a home for adversarial accountability journalism in our 150-plus-years of publication, The Nation is doubling down in the era of Trump. We’ve launched a confidential tips resource to further our mission of speaking truth to power. New technologies now make it possible to leak information more securely and we are adopting encrypted tools—including WhatsApp, Signal, and PGP—in order for whistleblowers to reach us.

“Leakers can trust The Nation to do right by its sources,” says features editor Sarah Leonard. “Secure communications are a priority in our newsroom and introducing encrypted ways of reaching the magazine reflects that commitment. We don’t pull punches on controversial topics; we’re committed to giving space and time to important issues that redefine our world as it is—and as it could be.”

 The tips page and respective encryption tools provide sources with multiple avenues of access to share information. Tips are received by a designated editorial team. Later this year, we’ll be joining the elite few dozen organizations accredited by the Freedom of the Press foundation on Secure Drop—the open-source whistleblower submission system.

The Nation has a long and proud history of publishing whistleblowers and defending and securing the First Amendment. Recent examples with definitive impact include Sarah Posner’s revelatory story based on a leaked religious freedom order from the Trump administration; Lauren Windsor’s exclusive documents and audio from the Koch brothers’ uber-secretive annual meeting; and a recording of a stop-and-frisk in action.

Our scoops have lead to congressional hearings, forced policy change, been cited in court decisions, and shaped news cycles. We were also an early plaintiff in the ACLU’s lawsuit against the National Security Agency and the Department of Justice over massive, dragnet surveillance of American citizens—made public in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations.

Together, we can confront and expose power in these trying political times. Just tip us off.

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