International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
ICIJ logo.png
Formation 1997
Location
Director
Gerard Ryle
Advisory committee Bill Kovach, Phillip Knightley, Gwen Lister, and Goenawan Mohamad, Chuck Lewis, Rosental Calmon Alves, Reginald Chua and Brant Houston[1]
Key people
Michael Hudson[2]
Main organ
The Global Muckraker
Parent organization
Center for Public Integrity
Website ICIJ

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is a Washington-based international network launched in 1997 by the Center for Public Integrity[3] which includes 165 investigative journalists in over 65 countries[2] who work together on "issues such as "cross-border crime, corruption, and the accountability of power."[1][4] For over twenty five years the ICIJ has exposed smuggling and tax evasion by multinational tobacco companies (2000),[5] "by organized crime syndicates; investigated private military cartels, asbestos companies,[6] and climate change lobbyists; and broke new ground by publicizing details of Iraq and Afghanistan war contracts."[1][1][4][7]

For the Panama Papers more than 80 journalists worked on the data, culminating in a partial release on 3 April 2016, garnering global media attention.[8][9] The set of 11.5 million confidential financial and legal document from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca included detailed information on more than 14,000 clients and more than 214,000 offshore entities, including the identities of shareholders and directors including noted personalities and heads of state[10]—government officials, close relatives and close associates of various heads of government of more than 40 other countries.[11][12][13] The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung first received the released data from an anonymous source in 2015.[12] After working on the Mossack Fonseca documents for a year Gerard Ryle—director of ICIJ—described how Mossack Fonseca had "helped companies and individuals with tax havens, including those that have been sanctioned by the U.S. and UK for dealing with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."[14]

History[edit]

In 1997 the Center for Public Integrity began "assembling the world’s first working network of premier investigative reporters." By 2000 the ICIJ consisted of 75 world-class investigative reporters in 39 countries."[15]:11

Global tobacco industry[edit]

From 2008 to 2011 the ICIJ investigated the global tobacco industry revealing how Philip Morris International and other tobacco companies worked to grow businesses in Russia, Mexico, Uruguay and Indonesia.[16]:23

Offshore banking series[edit]

The ICIJ partnered with The Guardian, BBC, Le Monde, the Washington Post, SonntagsZeitung, The Indian Express, Süddeutsche Zeitung and NDR to produce an investigative series on offshore banking.[17][18] They reported on government corruption across the globe, tax avoidance schemes used by wealthy people and the use of secret offshore accounts in Ponzi Schemes.[19]

In June 2011 an ICIJ article revealed how an Australian businessman had helped his clients legally incorporate thousands of offshore shell entitles "some of which later became involved in the international movement of oil, guns and money."[20]

In early 2014 the ICIJ revealed that relatives of China's political and financial elite were among those using offshore tax havens to conceal wealth.[21]

Panama Papers[edit]

Main article: Panama Papers

The Süddeutsche Zeitung received a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents from a secret source, created by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca.[22] The so-called Panama Papers provided detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies, including the identities of shareholders and directors which included government officials, close relatives and close associates of various heads of government of more than 40 other countries.[12][13] Because of the leak the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, was forced to resign on 5 April 2016.[9] By 4 April 2016 more than "107 media organisations in 76 countries"[23] had participated in analyzing the documents,[14] including BBC Panorama and the UK newspaper, The Guardian.[23]

The ICIJ and Süddeutsche Zeitung received the Panama Papers in 2015 and distributed them to about 400 journalists at 107 media organizations[23] in more than 80 countries. The first news reports based on the set, along with 149 of the documents themselves,[22][24][25]

According to The New York Times,[9]

"[T]he Panama Papers reveal an industry that flourishes in the gaps and holes of international finance. They make clear that policing offshore banking and tax havens and the rogues who use them cannot be done by any one country alone. Lost tax revenue is one consequence of this hidden system; even more dangerous is its deep damage to democratic rule and regional stability when corrupt politicians have a place to stash stolen national assets out of public view."

— The New York Times

Outreach[edit]

The ICIJ is active on social media with a website, blog entitled the 'Global Muckraker, '[26] Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and a YouTube channel.[1]

Awards[edit]

The ICIJ organizes the bi-annual Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.[2][27][28][29][30][31][29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "About". ICIJ. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "About the ICIJ". The Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 10 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Vasilyeva, Natalya; Anderson, Mae (3 April 2016). "News Group Claims Huge Trove of Data on Offshore Accounts". The New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  4. ^ a b ICIJ, About the ICIJ
  5. ^ Beelman, Maud; Campbell, Duncan; Ronderos, Maria Teresa; Schelzig, Erik J. (January 2000), "Major Tobacco Multinational Implicated in Cigarette Smuggling, Tax Evasion, Documents Show", International Consortium of Investigative Journalists 
  6. ^ "Dangers in the Dust" (PDF). International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 2010. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Gerard Ryle". Center for Public Integrity. 
  8. ^ "The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists". ICIJ. April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c "The Panama Papers’ Sprawling Web of Corruption". New York Times. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Vasilyeva, Natalya; Anderson, Mae (April 3, 2016). "News Group Claims Huge Trove of Data on Offshore Accounts". The New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility: Disclosures show how havens such as British Virgin Islands hide links between big business and relatives of top politician". The Guardian. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c Vasilyeva, Natalya; Anderson, Mae (3 April 2016). "News Group Claims Huge Trove of Data on Offshore Accounts". The New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Panama Papers: The Power Players". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Epatko, Larisa (4 April 2016). "Here's what we know so far about the leaked Panama papers". PBS. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  15. ^ "2000 Center for Public Integrity Annual Report" (PDF). Center for Public Integrity. 2000. p. 27. Retrieved 7 April 2016. 
  16. ^ Pitzke, Marc. "Offshore Leaks: Vast Web of Tax Evasion Exposed". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Offshore secrets: what is the Guardian investigation based on?". London: guardian.co.uk. 25 November 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Guevara, Marina Walker; Hager, Nicky; Cabra, Mar; Ryle, Gerard; Menkes, Emily. Who Uses the Offshore World (Report). Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze. [International Consortium for Investigative Journalists http://www.icij.org]. Retrieved 17 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Ryle, Gerard (28 June 2011). "Inside the shell: Drugs, arms and tax scams". Secrecy for sale: inside the global offshore money maze. ICIJ. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  20. ^ Gerard Ryle (January 21, 2014). "China's elite linked to secret offshore entities". ICIJ. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  21. ^ a b "DocumentCloud 149 Results Source: Internal documents from Mossack Fonseca (Panama Papers) – Provider: Amazon Technologies / Owner: Perfect Privacy, LLC USA". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 4 April 2016. 
  22. ^ a b c Panama Papers: Government announces creation of 'panel of experts', BBC, 7 April 2016, retrieved 7 April 2016 
  23. ^ Obermaier, Frederik; Obermayer, Bastian; Wormer, Vanessa; Jaschensky, Wolfgang (3 April 2016). "About the Panama Papers". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  24. ^ "The Panama Papers: Data Metholodogy". ICIJ. 3 April 2016. Archived from the original on 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 
  25. ^ "The Global Muckraker". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. 
  26. ^ "Razzle-Dazzle 'Em Ethics Reform". New York Times. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  27. ^ Galvin, Kevin (1996). "Buchanan Campaign Chief Has Milita Ties". Associated Press. 
  28. ^ a b "The States Get a Poor Report Card". New York Times. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  29. ^ Goldstein, Steve (1996-02-16). "`Outsider' Runs Filled With `Insider' Advisers". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  30. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 2012-06-09.