“Panama Papers”: 6 things to know about a historic Pulitzer Prize

On April 3, 2016, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed the scandal of the “Panama Papers” and listed the names of heads of state, billionaires, personalities who had all resorted to offshore montages to hide their assets. One year later, the ICIJ, has just received the Pulitzer Prize for this extraordinary survey which mobilized more than a hundred media outlets around the world.

1 A collective price

With this prestigious award, the committee paid tribute to the unprecedented collaboration of the 370 journalists who worked on 11.5 million internal documents dated from 1977 to 2015, from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. Thanks to this media partnership on 6 continents, more than 214,000 offshore companies established in tax havens have been scrutinized. Clients and beneficiaries have been tracked in more than 200 countries. Gérard Ryle, who heads the Consortium, reminded that this investigation would never have been possible without the collective spirit of the two German journalists of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier who transmitted these documents and allowed their processing by all Consortium partners in 76 countries. “We believe that cooperation is the future of global journalism “ he added.

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2Le Monde “and” Cash Investigation “rewarded

In France, this prize rewards two media which have collaborated in this global survey, with the ICIJ: “Le Monde” and Première Lignes, a press agency which produced the “Cash Investigation” survey on the Panama Papers, conducted by Edouard Perrin and Benoît Bringer. The show of France 2, presented by Elise Lucet, had also devoted a sequel to these revelations last February. In France, the investigation revealed the involvement of politicians like Jérome Cahuzac and Patrick Balkany, banks like Société Générale and large French fortunes.

3Journalistic pedagogy

The Pulitzer team particularly highlighted the inventiveness of the Consortium and its partners in explaining, thanks to data journalism, tax evasion and dirty money laundering schemes which are extremely complicated for the general public.

4 Distinguished whistleblowers

At the origin of these revelations, an anonymous source, calling himself John Doe. She had contacted the German journalist of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” Bastian Obermayer, member of the ICIJ. The one whose identity is still unknown, had then given him the millions of documents. After the conviction on appeal on March 16 in Luxembourg to six months suspended prison sentence and 1,500 euros fine for Antoine Deltour, and 1,000 euros fine for Raphaël Halet, the two whistleblowers of the Luxleaks, this award gives highlight the issue of the protection of whistleblowers.

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5Investigation into global legal and political consequences

The Panama Papers have shown that all these companies were created to conceal money or assets belonging to great fortunes and incumbent politicians, but also to criminal networks and leaders of corrupt countries. They brought to light the links of politicians, dhave 14 world leaders, in more than 50 countries, with offshore companies. As a result, hundreds of investigations have been opened in many countries, including 26 in France by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office. Reorganization procedures are also underway, including 415 in France. In France, to put an end to anonymity, the question of the beneficial owner of front companies has been placed on the political agenda by the Ministry of Finance. Within Europe, legislative changes are said to be underway.

6The culmination of a long list of distinctions

The Panama Papers investigation was also a finalist in the “International Reporting” category of the Pulitzer Prize. His prize for “Explanatory Report” follows various distinctions previously received:

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– George Polk Award for financial journalism

– Gold Barlett and Steele Award for investigative journalism

– Investigative Reporters and Editors IRE award for innovation in investigative journalism and the Gannett Award for innovation

– The American Society of News Editors’ O’Brien Fellowship Award for impact in public service journalism

– The Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ “Best-in-Business” Award for reporting on banking and finance

– Online News Association’s Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award for large newsrooms

– Data Journalism Awards Investigation of the Year -Datanami Editor’s Choice for Top Big Data Achievement

– Maria Moors Cabot Prize Special Citation

– Perfil Freedom of Expression Award -New School? University’s inaugural Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Award

-Eppy Awards Best Collaborative Investigative / Enterprise Reporting with 1 million unique monthly visitors and over

-Talend Data Masters Grand Prize winner

-Walkley Awards Business Journalism award finalist-Association of Foreign Correspondents in Spain special citation

-La Asociación de Directoras y Gerentes de Servicios Sociales Media Award

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“Panama Papers”: 6 things to know about a historic Pulitzer Prize

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