International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Panama Papers honored with top Barlett & Steele prize

Panama Papers

The Panama Papers project, led by ICIJ and German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung working in collaboration with more than 100 media outlets, has been honored with a Gold Barlett &  Steele Award for Investigative Journalism.

The award, announced on Tuesday by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism, recognized the significant impact of the Panama Papers investigation, which has resulted in the resignation of top officials, police raids, investigations and more since the first stories were published in April.

More than 370 journalists worked collaboratively on the investigation, which was based on a trove of 11.5 million leaked files that detailed the inner workings of one of the world’s top offshore company incorporators, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

“The Panama Papers represents historic and unparalleled global cooperation that remarkably was kept a secret until publication,” said the Barlett & Steele judges.

The Silver Award went to The Wall Street Journal and Bronze to the Los Angeles Times.

The accolade is one of a number of awards and recognitions for the Panama Papers investigation. ICIJ deputy director Marina Walker Guevara accepted a Perfil Freedom of Expression Award in Argentina on Tuesday evening on behalf of the global reporting team and journalists Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier, who received the leaked documents and shared them with ICIJ.

The Perfil Award recognizes people and entities that through their roles in society defend freedom of expression, and previous winners include French magazine Charlie Hebdo and Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists who led the investigation into the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden.

Walker’s role in coordinating the collaboration behind the Panama Papers has been previously recognized with a special citation from the Columbia University Journalism School’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize and with the Susan Talalay Award for Outstanding Journalism from the Alfred Friendly Foundation.

In September, the Panama Papers investigation was honored by the Online News Association, winning the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award for large newsrooms, and was named Editor’s Choice for Top Big Data Achievement at the 2016 Datanami Awards.

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