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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The latest blockbuster investigation from The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shows that when reporters agree to work together and not to out-scoop one another, the impact of their work can be explosive.

Why it matters: "It really in some ways is set up to subvert the traditional kind of foreign reporting that has dominated international journalism, where a western reporter parachutes into a country and comes back to write a story," says Michael Hudson, senior editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The Pandora Papers project, the latest blockbuster report from ICIJ, exposes the vast network of offshore accounts and hidden riches from world leaders and billionaires across 91 countries and territories.

  • Over 600 journalists from 150 news outlets globally, including The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC, Radio France and others came together for the project, which took over two years to compile.
  • The team obtained more than 11.9 million confidential files detailing the secret financial havens of prominent people around the world.
  • It follows the 2016 Panama Papers report published by the group, which led to the resignation of world leaders in Pakistan and Iceland.

How it works: The ICIJ, a nonprofit designed to bring journalists and newsrooms around the world together, has two major rules for its participating partners, Hudson says.

  1. All journalists must agree to hold their reporting and publish it simultaneously at an agreed-upon date.
  2. All journalists must commit to uploading whatever they uncover to an internal communications database in real-time so that they can share their findings and work collaboratively.

The bottom line: “We are competing to be the most collaborative,” Hudson said. “We’re not racing to hide stuff from people.”

Go deeper

Oct 7, 2021 - Podcasts

How South Dakota became a tax haven for the ultra rich

South Dakota has become a haven for an estimated $360 billion for the wealthy, according to the leaked financial documents in the Pandora Papers. Even though it’s one of the least populated states in the U.S., it now ranks as one of the top tax haven jurisdictions.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Axios’ chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon, who’s been reporting on what the Pandora Papers revealed about South Dakota.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.