Panama Papers probe wins a Scripps Howard award

Cross-border investigation takes fourth major American journalism prize

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The Panama Papers investigation has this week received its fourth major American journalism prize, the William Brewster Styles Award for Business/Economics Reporting from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

The series, which illuminated offshore tax havens and shook up politicians around the world, was coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, at the time a project of the Center for Public Integrity. The two organizations have since separated. The Styles Award also recognized McClatchy newspapers and the Miami Herald, who were partners in the project.

Journalists from ICIJ, McClatchy, the Herald and more than 100 media partners worked collaboratively to investigate a trove of leaked documents from inside Mossack Fonseca, a law firm in Panama that sells offshore companies and other complex corporate structures.

The award judges noted that the project “exposed offshore hideaways tied to mega-banks, corporate bribery scandals, drug kingpins, arms traffickers and a network of people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin that shuffled as much as $2 billion around the world.”  Judges also noted that since the probe, “governments and corporations in 79 countries have opened at least 150 inquiries, audits or investigations.”

Along with the recognition comes prize money of $10,000. The Scripps Howard Awards celebrate excellence in journalism in a total of 17 categories, with prize money totaling $180,000. The Scripps Howard Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the E. W. Scripps Company. Other winners in this year’s contest included ProPublica, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Oregonian and the East Bay Times.

The Panama Papers series has previously been honored with an Editor & Publisher award, a Polk award and a Barlett & Steele award. 

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