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Interview with Bastian Obermayer: Collaborative Journalism and the Panama Papers

Bastian Obermayer revolutionized investigative journalism when he responded to an anonymous source offering him access to sensitive data. The resulting trove of documents, known as the Panama Papers, were the biggest data leak in history and showed where some of the most powerful people in the world had hidden their wealth through offshore tax regimes.

Obermayer’s newspaper, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung worked with the the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism and a large network of international media organizations to sift through the data. The resulting stories brought down prime ministers in Pakistan and Iceland, sparked off tax raids and new legislation around world. It was an investigation that showed just what collaborative, serious reporting could achieve.

As keynote speaker at the Oxford Perspectives seminar at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, he talked about the lessons learned from the Panama Papers, and the subsequent Paradise Papers.