Puneet Varma (Editor)

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

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Formation  1997
Key people  Michael Hudson
Website  ICIJ
Founded  1997
Location  Washington, D.C.
Main organ  The Global Muckraker
Director  Gerard Ryle
Leader  Gerard Ryle
International Consortium of Investigative Journalists mediaindiatimesinmediacontent2016Apricij14
Board of directors  Advisory committee Bill Kovach, Phillip Knightley, Gwen Lister, and Goenawan Mohamad, Chuck Lewis, Rosental Calmon Alves, Reginald Chua and Brant Houston
Parent organization  Center for Public Integrity
Similar  WikiLeaks, Open Society Foundations, Transparency International, Center for Investigative Reporting, Global Financial Integrity

The international consortium of investigative journalists

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


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. 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—government officials, close relatives and close associates of various heads of government of more than 40 other countries. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung first received the released data from an anonymous source in 2015. 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."

The panama papers victims of offshore


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."

Global tobacco industry

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.

Offshore banking series

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. 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.

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."

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.

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. 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. Because of the leak the prime minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, was forced to resign on 5 April 2016. By 4 April 2016 more than "107 media organisations in 76 countries" had participated in analyzing the documents, including BBC Panorama and the UK newspaper, The Guardian.

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

According to The New York Times,

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


The ICIJ organized the bi-annual Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting. The award is currently not being awarded.


International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Wikipedia