LuxLeaks, SwissLeaks win top Data Journalism Award

ICIJ pays tribute to whistleblowers and journalist facing charges as team of more than 200 honored with top prize.

Two of ICIJ’s investigations into financial secrecy have been honored with a top prize at the Global Editor’s Network Data Journalism Awards on Thursday.

The Luxembourg Leaks and Swiss Leaks projects were jointly awarded ‘Investigation of the Year’ at a ceremony in Barcelona as part of the GEN Summit.

The award recognizes investigations based on “data collection and analysis to disclose or spotlight a significant abuse of power or failure to uphold the public interest,” and ICIJ’s projects were shortlisted alongside stories from the Guardian, the Financial Times, AL Jazeera, and other major media outlets.

Accepting the award on behalf of ICIJ and more than 200 reporters from dozens of countries and media partners involved in both these projects, ICIJ data and research editor Mar Cabra paid tribute to journalist Edouard Perrin and two whistleblowers who are now all facing charges in Luxembourg.

In the Luxembourg Leaks investigation, ICIJ used secret documents to report and expose the backroom deals that allowed more than 370 companies – including Disney, IKEA, Shire and Deutsche Bank – to avoid billions of euros in taxes on profits they channeled through Luxembourg.

The Swiss Leaks project was based on a trove of 60,000 leaked files that revealed how the Swiss branch of one of the world’s biggest banks, HSBC, profited from doing business with tax dodgers and criminals around the world.

While both investigations began with leaked documents, each required thousands of hours of data work to organize and structure the files and the information they contained in such a way that the combined team of more than 200 journalists could sort through and filter the information and find stories relevant to their own audiences.

ICIJ also produced interactive applications to allow the public to explore as much data as possible from each leak. The applications were published on dozens of partner websites, and formed the basis of further local reporting by media outlets around the world.

Explore the award-winning series and find out more about the data work involved here:

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