The Guardian and the Panama Papers

April 4, 2016 at 5:17 pm (capitalism, corruption, crime, Guardian, Jim D, media, Russia, tax)

Capture of the Guardian's totally accidentally misleading headline.

Above: from the Guardian’s  front page today

The ‘Panama Papers’ is without doubt the biggest and most important story (so far) of the century, and Shiraz will be keeping a sharp eye, in particular, on how Putin’s fans and apologists on the supposed “left” deal with it. The Mossack Fonseca documents were initially passed to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The fact is that the Guardian is just one among 109 media organisations in 76 countries that have helped break the story – which makes this message from Deputy Editor Paul Johnson a bit of a damn cheek. I don’t think I’ll be sending them any money just yet:


The “Panama Papers” is the biggest leak in history: 11.5m documents – which would take one person 27 years to read – describing in the finest detail, for the first time, how rivers of money are moved around the world, hidden from sight by secret offshore banking operations.

The scale of the story is staggering: inside those papers 113,000 shell companies were discovered – helping hundreds of national leaders, politicians, celebrities and business people hide their money.

If the scale of the leak was enormous, the journalistic effort to bring it to full exposure was just as big: 370 journalists from 70 different countries worked in an unprecedented scale of co-operation. At the Guardian, we had five journalists dedicated to the investigation for six months, in conditions of tight secrecy, working through the dozens of stories and an exhaustive legal process.

Readers can support such journalism by making a financial contribution to the Guardian. Make a contribution here.

Today’s investigation has created a much-needed worldwide debate about tax and fairness. There are another four days of stories to come. We think they are of vital public importance. We hope you agree.

Thank you for your support and for reading the Guardian.

Paul Johnson
Deputy Editor, Guardian News and Media


  1. David Walsh said,

    RT this morning were most upset about the focus on Vlad the lad and how all this negatively impacts on his peace of mind and his never ending quest for peace in the Levant.

  2. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

  3. kb72 said,

    One of Julian Assange’s battier ideas was that of citizens poring over these data dumps to draw their own conclusions. Of course, journalists have to read them for us.

  4. ZINR said,

    I would recommend Süddeutsche to any German-speaking readers – it’s a bit like the Guardian, only without the kow-towing to religious fascists and the endless anti-Semitism (pro-Hamas editorials and the like don’t go down that well in Germany, unsurprisingly). Not surprised they broke the story, really. Worth a read.

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    Here’s a link to the worst Stalinist paper published in the UK, here is how they respond to the Putin links in the Panama papers.

    Though no mention of the DPRK and the false company set up to fund WMD. As they are apologists for the North Korean regime.

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