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Pandora Papers investigation receives National Headliner Award, other honors

In honoring the Pandora Papers with a number of awards, judges and commentators have described the global investigation as "stunning" and "one of the essential stories of our time."

The Pandora Papers investigation has been honored with a National Headliner Award — the latest in a series of accolades for the global reporting partnership that continues to expose the offshore financial maneuvers of politicians, oligarchs and criminals.

The Press Club of Atlantic City, the National Headliner Awards’ sponsor, announced its 2022 winners today.

The prize judges gave the Pandora Papers a first place award for online investigative reporting for digital partnerships. They said the scope and depth of the investigation was “stunning.”

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, The Washington Post, the Miami Herald and nearly 150 other media partners around the globe collaborated on the cross-border investigation.

Other recent accolades for the project include the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Katharine Graham Award for courage and accountability; Ithaca College’s Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media; and the Overseas Press Club of America’s Malcolm Forbes Award for international business reporting.

At the Overseas Press Club’s awards event last week, host John Avlon, a senior political analyst at CNN, called the Pandora Papers “one of the essential stories of our time.”

The investigation has also been named as a finalist in New York City Deadline Club’s awards for both business investigative reporting and the Daniel Pearl Prize for investigative reporting. On Monday, the Inter American Press Association awards named the Pandora Papers as a finalist in its in-depth journalism category. Deadline Club and IAPA winners will be announced in the coming weeks.

“These recent recognitions highlight the groundbreaking investigative journalism and global impact produced by ICIJ, The Washington Post and other partners in the U.S. and beyond,” ICIJ director Gerard Ryle said. “They’re a tribute to the hard work and courage of journalists around the world who overcame legal threats, intimidation and other challenges to make the Pandora Papers a reality.”

The investigation began with a trove of more than 11.9 million secret offshore financial files obtained by ICIJ and shared with its partners. A global team that ultimately involved more than 600 journalists spent two years digging through these files, tracking down hard-to-find sources and reviewing court records and other public documents from dozens of countries.

Pandora Papers stories, which began publishing Oct. 3, have triggered more than 20 government investigations and spurred new policies and legislation in multiple jurisdictions.

In recent weeks, lawmakers in New York and Alaska have cited the Pandora Papers to support new state legislation that seeks to rein in financial secrecy. In March, New Zealand’s government invoked the Pandora Papers in pledging to enact landmark legislation that will crack down on money laundering and tax dodging.

In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the New York Times, NPR, ABC and other news outlets have referenced the Pandora Papers to help explain the push to sanction powerful figures close to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The Washington Post and ICIJ produced new Pandora Papers stories in March and April exposing secret financial dealings of oligarchs and other powerful Russians targeted for post-invasion sanctions.

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