I wanted to take a brief moment to talk about the documents we are interested in seeing here at JerseyLeaks. We are excited with the response we have had from the community in our first day, and I thought that given this interest from a diverse group of stakeholders, it would be helpful to clarify what JerseyLeaks is and isn’t, and what our longterm goals with this project are.
First, it should be said that the official position of the site administration is that JerseyLeaks is strictly nonpartisan. We welcome all submissions from all interested parties, whether they are conservative, liberal or somewhere else on the ideological spectrum. We are interested in the truth, not political points or spin, and we will be conducting our operation accordingly.
Please leave Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton out of any potential submission, unless it directly relates to something that took place within the geographic boundaries of the State of New Jersey. JerseyLeaks is not primarily interested in national politics, as we focus exclusively on things that take place within New Jersey and nowhere else.
We are seeking original document submissions from whistleblowers with firsthand knowledge of government corruption or other malfeasance such as kickbacks, graft and nepotism in state, county and municipal governments and independent authorities throughout New Jersey. We are also interested in monitoring the activities of New Jersey’s federal elected officials, to include members of Congress and the state’s two senators.
Ideally, the documents submitted by whistleblowers through our system will be something that can help us as journalists to fill in the gaps where other sources of information come up dry, and provide a level of detail not possible through records obtained via the “official” method, such as through OPRA requests. We are also hoping that the privacy provided by strong encryption will encourage sources that would otherwise be too intimidated to come forward to feel comfortable enough to leak documents using our service.
Examples of documents that we would like to see submitted would include confidential memos, email chains, word documents, excel spreadsheets and pdf files. The documents we would desire the most would be those that are specifically exempt from being disclosed to the public under OPRA, such as the “criminal investigatory record” exemption etc.
First, before you take the effort to submit your document, take a minute and ask yourself: is this document newsworthy? What does this document prove? Does it show something that a journalist would be able to write an article about? Tell us. If the documents you submitted are personal in nature (such as legal documents from a personal criminal case), we probably will not publish them unless you can demonstrate why they are newsworthy to other people.
Secondly, we would appreciate it if you could provide some context with your submission. Give us details, like how did you come to obtain the documents, what else should we know, and who are the players involved.
Third, it goes without saying that all documents will be subject to a rigorous and independent verification process. This can result in a delay from when documents are submitted to when an editorial decision is made. We cannot personally respond to every submission due to the volume of submissions we are going to receive and reserve the right not to publish documents that cannot meet this verification process.
Lastly, we emphasize that the site administration does not condone any illegal activity in connection with obtaining material from sources. We trust that all submitted material is legally sourced and obtained. We strictly follow all federal, state and local laws with respect to the legality of our operation.
We look forward to your submissions!