By Samah Assad

(CBS) — As the coronavirus continues to grip the United States, communities are relying on journalists to keep them informed with accurate information. CBS 2 is committed to doing this through investigative and enterprise reporting by exposing issues in systems that are supposed to protect the public. 

But we can only tell these stories with your help. If you are an employee with a city or state agency, an employee of a private business, a health care worker, or any other employee with a story to tell about your employer that you think we need to report, but you have privacy concerns, we want to give you ways to contact us. Even if it’s anonymous.

We are also looking to hear from employees of the Illinois Department of Employment Security as we continue to investigative and report on systemic issues that may be contributing to why many are unable to file for unemployment as claims continue to surge

In some cases, it’s difficult to investigate big issues without sources, inside information or records that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to. There are many exemptions to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests when it comes to certain state and federal agencies. In addition, the pandemic has led to reduced FOIA staff in agencies across the state, which can mean a delay in the release of important public records. You can read this story, as well as this one, to see examples of how sources have helped us shed light on important issues during this time that we otherwise may not have been able to.

You can send us documents, photos or tips in the following ways. We will not share your identity. But we may follow up with questions about what you’ve sent in order to verify the information. If possible, please provide context along with the documents you share.

Email

This is probably the easiest way to contact us with information, tips or documents you may want to share with us. For a more secure experience, we do not recommend emailing us from a work device, email address or WiFi as this information is tracked by your employer. Instead, contact us using a private email address and WiFi, and from a private device.

You can contact investigative producer Samah Assad via email at sfassad@cbs.com.

Signal

Signal is a more secure way to communicate information and tips via your mobile phone. You can easily download the free private messenger in your app store.

Signal is an encrypted messaging service where you can make calls and send messages and files from your phone. It protects your chats by encrypting all messages (which you can also set to automatically disappear after a certain time limit). This means only the individuals sending and receiving the messages can have access to their contents because they cannot be intercepted through WiFi.

You can reach a CBS 2 investigative producer via Signal at 312-848-1675.