The Paradise Papers investigation of wealth stashed offshore has won a George Polk Award, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist’s second Polk Award in as many years.
The team of more than 380 journalists from six continents was honored with the Financial Reporting Award, announced by the Long Island University (LIU) at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Based on a trove of 13.4 million leaked files, the Paradise Papers exposed the secret tax machinations of some of the world’s most powerful people and corporations. The files were leaked to German reporters Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier of Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ, which brought together a collaboration of more than 90 media partners, including The New York Times, the Guardian and others from around the world.
“What had been a powerful but invisible matrix of hidden wealth known only to specialists has been exposed to the full glare of global public scrutiny and – much to the chagrin of insiders – is now a topic of kitchen-table conversations around the world. And there is no going back,” ICIJ deputy director Marina Walker Guevara noted in ICIJ’s entry letter for the award.
This is the second year in a row that an ICIJ investigation has been honored with a Polk Award, after the Panama Papers also won the Financial Reporting Award last year. It is ICIJ’s third Polk Award.
This year’s awards also gave special recognition to journalists from The New York Times and The Washington Post for “their extraordinary effort in uncovering the connection between the Trump presidential campaign and the Kremlin that led to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation,” according to a statement from LIU.
“The Polk judges felt the investigative work, based on the cultivation of sources, was equally outstanding on the part of both newspapers and may play a significant role in safeguarding our democracy from foreign interference.”
Other winners announced on Tuesday included reporters from The New York Times and The New Yorker for exposing the decades-long sexual predation of the movie producer Harvey Weinstein, The Intercept for documenting the destruction of a covert U.S. Navy SEAL raid in Yemen, ProPublica and NPR for portraying the tragedies behind an alarming increase in maternal deaths in the United States and The Washington Post for digging into the past of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama to disclose on-the-record accounts of sexual assault. Awards also went to journalists from The Naples Daily News, Phoenix New Times, Buzzfeed, VICE News, CNN, CBS News, and more.