THE Panama Papers probe, a collaborative work of more than 100 media organisations including The Indian Express, has won the Data Journalism Awards 2016 for Investigation of the Year. The award was presented at the Global Editors Network (GEN) summit in Vienna on Thursday.
The Indian Express is the India partner in the Panama Papers probe, and its editors Ritu Sarin, P Vaidyanathan Iyer and Jay Mazoomdaar were among over 300 journalists from more than 75 countries who worked together on 11.5 million files — the biggest data leak ever — since 2015.
The Panama Papers investigation was based on 2.6 terabyte of data — primarily on offshore entities set up for clients of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca — obtained by German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared through the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Published globally since April 3, the Panama Papers reports exposed the inner workings of the secretive offshore financial system and revealed hidden companies linked to politicians, celebrities, business barons, criminals, sports stars and more.
This is the second year in a row that an ICIJ project has won top honours at the Data Journalism Awards, after the Swiss Leaks probe took home the Investigation of the Year award in 2015. The Indian Express editor Ritu Sarin was also part of the Swiss Leaks investigation.
Accepting the award on behalf of ICIJ, data journalist Cécile Schilis-Gallego paid tribute to the global team of reporters and the source of the Panama Papers data.
“I want to take a second to highlight the brilliant work of journalists who partner with us — especially Suddeutsche Zeitung — but also the courage of whistleblowers who take incredible risks to help us tell stories that participate to the democratic debate on offshore finance. Without the data, we would not be able to produce those stories,” she said.
The Data Journalism Awards is hosted by the Global Editors Network, a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators. A jury headed by former Wall Street Journal managing editor Paul Steiger picks the winners.