The work of more than 370 journalists who collaborated on the Panama Papers project has been honored with the Investigation of the Year prize at the Data Journalism Awards in Vienna, Austria on Thursday.
The Panama Papers investigation was based on a 2.6 terabyte trove of data obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ and a network of more than 100 media organizations. The leaked dataset of 11.5 million files from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca exposed the inner workings of the secretive offshore financial system, and revealed hidden companies linked to politicians, criminals, sports stars and more.
Accepting the Investigation of the Year award on behalf of ICIJ, data journalist Cécile Schilis-Gallego paid tribute to the global team of reporters and the source of the information.
“I want to take a second to highlight the brilliant work of journalists who partner with us – especially Süddeutsche Zeitung – but also the courage of whistleblowers who take incredible risks to help us tell stories that participate to the democratic debate on offshore finance. Without the data, we would not be able to produce those stories,” she said.
It is the second year in a row that an ICIJ project has won top honors at the Global Editors Network-hosted event, after Swiss Leaks took home the Investigation of the Year award in 2015.
The Swiss Leaks investigation, which published in early 2015 in collaboration with French newspaper Le Monde and dozens of global media outlets, was also awarded the prize for business reporting at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington D.C. branch Dateline Awards at a ceremony at the National Press Club earlier this week. It was one of seven awards won by the Center for Public Integrity at the event.