Fallout from the Panama Papers reverberates around the world from Brazilian politicians found to have used New Zealand trusts, to the U.S offices of the law firm at the center of the world’s largest leak being cut back.
Stories are still emerging from the epic database managed and networked with 400 journalists by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). More can be expected as new major media organizations join the those who have been probing the 11.5m document trove for the past year.
The intelligence, technology and effort that went into the project from the small team of the ICIJ was clear in a sparkling presentation to a London conference by Mar Cabra, the Madrid-based ICIJ team member who heads the data journalism operation of the consortium. If you really want to know what it took — apart from trust and leaving your ego at the door — the explanation from Mar gives a sense of the skill that went into the operation. It’s highly recommended.
ICIJ Director Gerard Ryle spoke to an intimate gathering in Los Angeles last week put together by LA-based board members of the Center for Public Integrity at private home in Beverly Hills. Interviewed by former CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, Ryle spoke eloquently of the challenge of tying together the network of 370 journalists who kept the secret but also the visceral excitement he felt when friends at Suddeutsche Zeitung told him of the approach from the leader identified only as John Doe who confirmed his long-held suspicions about Mossack Fonseca. Here’s an earlier interview Gerard did with Christiane Amanpour (incidentally a member of Public Integrity’s advisory board) on the leak.