The Pulitzer Prizes on Monday honoured International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for its work on Panama Papers. The ICIJ spearheaded a team of over 300 reporters, spread across six continents, to expose the offshore tax havens used by high-profile individuals across the world. In a series of hard-hitting reportage, over 11 million leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca revealed how the law firm had helped individuals set up shell companies to evade paying taxes. In India, an eight-month long investigation by The Indian Express revealed the names of over 500 Indians who figured in the Fonseca’s list of offshore companies, foundations and trusts. Executive editor Ritu Sarin, National Affairs Editor Vaidyanathan Iyer and Associate Editor Jay Mazoomdaar of The Indian Express were part of the investigation.
ICIJ entered the race in the International Reporting category, but it was later moved to Explanatory Reporting by the Pulitzer board. The 19-member Pulitzer board is made up of past winners and other distinguished journalists and academics. It chose the winners with the help of 102 jurors. More than 2,500 entries were submitted this year, competing for 21 prizes. Seven of the awards recognize fiction, drama, history, biographies, poetry, general nonfiction and music. The Pulitzers began in 1917 after a bequest from newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer.
with inputs from Reuters