Offshore Leaks honored with top investigative reporting prize

IRE judges applaud the global tax haven investigation for its wide reach and significant impact, awarding ICIJ’s team a top prize and a finalists’ mention.

The International Consortium for Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity received four honors from the Investigative Reporters & Editors, IRE announced Thursday — including a top prize for Secrecy for Sale, an ICIJ project exposing a global offshore money maze.

The Offshore Leaks project earned the top investigative reporting prize in IRE’s Multiplatform/Large publications category.

"ICIJ produced a tremendously ambitious international reporting effort that is awe-inspiring by every measure. A team of more than 100 journalists mined a collection of millions of pages of leaked documents exposing how wealthy people worldwide use offshore havens to hide fortunes and shrink their tax bills," judges wrote.

"The investigation found that major financial institutions have served as accomplices, devising ways to park assets in front companies in the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere. ICIJ … told the story in myriad ways, including a searchable database of offshore companies and trusts. The project prompted high profile resignations and civil and criminal investigations on four continents."

Secrecy for Sale was also recognized as a finalist in the Print/Online-Large category, IRE said in announcing the winners. The IRE honored 22 contributors to the offshore money project, including Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Kimberley Porteous and David Donald from ICIJ and the Center for Public Integrity.

Two other Center investigative projects, produced by the organization’s environmental reporting team, were also recognized as finalists:

  • Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine was a finalist in the Multiplatform/Large category. The series, produced in partnership with the ABC News Investigative Unit, was written by Chris Hamby, edited by Ronnie Greene and Jim Morris, and included interactive graphics by Chris Zubak-Skees. IRE honored a team of 13 contributors to the project.
  • Another Center project, Buried by Grain, was a finalist for Radio/Audio reporting. That report, produced in partnership with NPR, was written by Jim Morris and Howard Berkes.

IRE is the nation’s foremost organization of investigative journalists. The organization’s top prize, the IRE Medal, was awarded to Guardian US for The NSA Files, which included work by ICIJ member James Ball.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists. See the complete list here.

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