OLD Media Moves

ICIJ wins Polk Award for Financial Reporting

February 20, 2017

Posted by Chris Roush

Polk AWardsThe International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has won the George Polk Award for Financial Reporting for “The Panama Papers.”

The consortium worked with Süddeutsche Zeitung, McClatchy, the Miami Herald, Fusion and more than more than 400 journalists from over 100 other media partners in nearly 80 countries to investigate a trove of leaked documents from inside Mossack Fonseca and Co., a law firm specializing in offshore secrecy.

The team analyzed 2.6 terabytes of data and 11.5 million files relating to 214,000 offshore companies linked to 140 politicians in more than 50 countries, exposing offshore companies tied to Syria’s deadly air war, the looting of Africa’s natural resources, and a Russian network with ties to President Vladimir Putin that hid as much as $2 billion in assets.

These and other revelations led the U. S. to require that banks identify the real owners of shell companies that open accounts, and led the European Union to create a 65-member investigative committee to weigh tighter money laundering and corporate transparency rules.

Global repercussions from reporting by the media partnership, an offshoot of the Center for Public Integrity, included the resignations of Iceland’s prime minister, Austrian and Dutch executives, government officials in Spain and Armenia, and an ethics expert at FIFA, the world soccer body.

One study found the market value of nearly 400 publicly traded companies linked to the Panama Papers dropped by $135 billion.

See all of the winners here.

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