Panama Papers, The Secret of Dirty Money

Throw them into the bay, or throw them into jail? Those were two possible replies to a poll set up by a user on Twitter. He wanted to know how to deal with “treacherous journalists” – the journalists in question were reporters working for the Panamanian daily newspaper La Prensa. The paper’s newsroom lies just 7.2 miles away from the offices of Mossack Fonseca, the law firm which plays the central role in the largest data-leak in history. The small state in Central America became eponymous for the scandals disclosed in the international research project Panama Papers – and many blamed La Prensa’s investigative journalists for this bad publicity. The majority of the participants in the twitter-poll demanded: Throw them into jail.Bodyguards were still protecting the papers editors months after the stories had been published.“This story was extremely personal for us. It involved many of our close friends, some of whom are no longer close friends”, said subdirector Rita Vásquez, “That is the price we knew we had to pay going into the project.”A year has passed since the first stories on the Panama Papers appeared. Since then SZ, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and their media associates have published about 5000 articles, radio and television pieces. 400 journalists from 80 countries collaborated on the leak. Though they won many coveted Journalism Awards, they also had to suffer because of their work. The situation in Germany was comfortable in comparison; the team consisting of journalists from the public broadcasters WDR and NDR as well as members of SZ had to face increased security measures following the publication of Panama Papers. But for colleagues from other countries, things got a lot more risky. A Ukrainian reporter left his home country and didn’t come back until after the publication. Others were denounced in public or received threatening phone calls. In Tunisia the website of a media partner was hacked, a reporter in Venezuela was sacked. And some journalists were hounded by their own government. A brief overview:

Source: Panama Papers, The Secret of Dirty Money | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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