Investigative journalism is not dead

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, April 6th, 2013 - 21 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, Ethics, International, news, overseas investment, telecommunications - Tags: , ,

Congratulations to Duncan Campbell, Nicky Hager, et al involved in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for doing such a great job on the Gobal Offshore Money Maze.  It began with an opportunity, as Duncan Campbell explains:

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’exploration of the secretive world of offshore companies and trusts began after a computer hard drive packed with corporate data and personal information and e-mails arrived in the mail.

Gerard Ryle, ICIJ’s director, obtained the data trove as a result of his three-year investigation of Australia’s Firepower scandal, a case involving offshore havens and corporate fraud.

The offshore information totaled more than 260 gigabytes of useful data. ICIJ’s analysis of the hard drive showed that it held about 2.5 million files, including more than 2 million e-mails that help chart the offshore industry over a long period of explosive growth.  It is one of the biggest collections of leaked data ever gathered and analyzed by a team of investigative journalists.

For the geeks, Campbell then goes into an explanation of how they developed software to sift through the jumble of data, and analyse it.

Of particular note is the high regard of Nicky Hager held by top investigative journalists internationally.  This inspite of the way NAct and their lackeys attempt to bad-mouth and undermine Hager.  Underneath Duncan Campbell’s article explaining the project, is this:

Duncan Campbell (U.K.), a founding member of ICIJ, is the ICIJ Data Journalism Manager for the Offshore Project and a contributing journalist.  Programmers Sebastian Mondial (Germany), Matthew Fowler (UK), Rigoberto Carvajal and Matthew Caruana (Costa Rica) provided custom software design, programming and data support. The initial manual analysis of the client names was done by ICIJ member Nicky Hager and Barbara Mare (New Zealand). ICIJ member Giannina Segnini oversaw the work in Costa Rica.

It will be a long time before all the data is fully interrogated and leads followed up.  Of note is the way Banks, financial speculators and wealth manipulators have been skewing the system.  they do this in ways that are further impoverishing the least wealthy and powerful people in diverse countries.  In his above linked article, Campbell says:

ICIJ’s data analysis showed that the people setting up offshore entities lived most often in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Another important group of clients comes from Russia and former Soviet republics.  This helps explain why the second-largest source of capital investment flowing into China is the tiny offshore tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.  Similarly, a large source of investment flowing into Russia is from Cyprus, a country that also features heavily in the data – and whose financial stability was recently undermined by a crisis precipitated by Cypriot-based banks being bloated by Russian money.

But don’t think it’s all those nasty folk in non-western countries orchestrating the dirty (though usually legal) deals. It is telling that Germany’s Deutsche Bank has been encouraging and managing a lot of these secret offshore accounts.  Furthermore, banks and other enterprises in Australia and NZ have also been part of the network.  See for instance links in Selwyn Manning’s Daily Blog post on the project.  One of the links goes to an ICIJ’s article on ‘Inside the shell: Drugs, arms and tax scams‘, on Queenslander George Taylor’s activities, family and networks:

Within this context, Taylor has led an astonishing double life. Publicly, he has served as a company director and chairman of sharemarket-listed companies both in Australia and in New Zealand. …

By then Taylor’s name, and the names of family members and associates, began to appear in hundreds and possibly thousands of companies that were formed around the world, mostly centered on tax havens. Their vast empire of directorships spread across Panama, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Britain, Hong Kong, China, Canada, Belize, Samoa, the Cook Islands, and the US, among others. …

More details of the activities in NZ/Auckland in the linked article.

Such projects restore my hopes in future of investigative journalism.  They also show how the capabilities of digital technologies can put to uses that benefit the many in holding the powerful few to account.

21 comments on “Investigative journalism is not dead ”

  1. ianmac 1

    Although I understand little of the expose , there must be some very rich/powerful people who will understand the significance and move to discredit/destroy those who would uncover the maggots wriggling in the underbelly of global finance.
    Nicky Hagar and Barbara Mare might suddenly find themselves victims of a dawn raid, unbeknownst to the PM of course.

    • geoff 1.1

      The system is corrupt but the participants are largely self-serving. If a shark gets is bleeding in the water the other sharks don’t help, they eat it.
      When I’m feeling particularly naive I like to think we have finally reached the point where capitalism has sold itself the rope by which to hang it.

      • Ugly Truth 1.1.1

        The predatory nature of the civil system goes back to Rome, and from Rome back to Nimrod the hunter and Babylon. Capitalism isn’t responsible for the hubris and dictatorial attitude of the empire.

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          There’s a hint of Marxism in the notion that capitalism will eventually hang itself. And, Marx had a (dialectical materialist) historical perspective on the way capitalism evolved from previous systems. For Marx, each system eventually collapses through its internal contradictions and gives way to a new and different system.

          For Marxists and other left wingers I think there is much to be gained by putting pressure on the internal contradictions within capitalism.

    • karol 1.2

      Nicky Hagar and Barbara Mare might suddenly find themselves victims of a dawn raid, unbeknownst to the PM of course.

      I think that is not extremely likely, ianmac, though not beyond the realms of possibility.

      Duncan Campbell and Nicky Hager are seasoned investigative journalists who have spoken truth to some major global powers int he past, and are still able to operate. Campbell was a respected left wing critical journalist back in the 80s and 90s when I lived in London. Like Hager, he gets dismissed by the neoliberals and elite front people – Key et al call Hager a muckraking conspiracy theorist.

      Such people have probably built up an extensive range of useful networks and contacts in diverse places.

  2. freedom 2

    for some highlights of the associated issues here is RT doing what the other networks shy from
    http://rt.com/shows/the-truthseeker/us-aconomy-exposed-offshore-380/

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    They also show how the capabilities of digital technologies can put to uses that benefit the many in holding the powerful few to account.

    It’s a great first step. However, in the US what has happened when this kind of malfeasance has come to light is usually one of the following:
    – An out of court settlement (fine) with no admission of wrong doing, and no publication of details.
    – An out of court settlement (fine) with admission of wrong doing, but no criminal charges and no prison time.
    – One of the above, but also being hauled up in front of a Congressional committee and being told off. No rule or law changes to prevent future occurrences.
    – Above but with rule or law changes which get severely watered down so by the time they pass they are of the wet bus ticket variety.
    – Above, but not watered down, but also never enforced and ignored by authorities.

    • One Tāne Huna 3.1

      After all, what good is corruption if it fails to corrupt things?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        +1

        Our society has been corrupted by the rich and powerful and it’s time we took it back off them.

    • karol 3.2

      I think the strength of the ICIJ is their extensive international networks, on and offline – distributed operations are far harder to dismantle. In contrast with say, wikileaks, it doesn’t seem so reliant on one, media-fronting, head honcho. Tasks have been delegated to various teams around the world.

      And they include journalists who have worked with major news organisations and/or publishers for several decades.

      And apparently they have far more international data than wikileaks ever held.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    …the dirty (though usually legal) deals.

    Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean that it’s right.

    This is something that we’re going to have to confront and put in place a lot of rules and regulations that will stop it from further impoverishing the least wealthy and powerful people in diverse countries.

    It’s time we brought the scam of capitalism to an end – permanently.

    • Arfamo 4.1

      Easiser said than done. Time was when I used to dismiss as the lunatic fringe the many global conspiracy theorists who claimed Western mainstream media was being deliberately dumbed down with fluff and distractions by the “global elite” to keep the masses ignorant and docile. Lately I’ve started to wonder if they’re actually right.

      • freedom 4.1.1

        not being patronizing Arfamo, straight up serious
        that is a genuinely difficult road for a lot of people and be confident that your doubts on the veracity of the MSM are well founded.

        All the best on your travels down the rabbit hole
        make regular rest stops, there are some great views to be had 🙂

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.2

        There’s a proliferation of junk media, that much is certain. There is still plenty of good journalism around though.

        • Arfamo 4.1.2.1

          Really? Even Key’s “brain fades” are starting to get treated as infotainment by mainstream media. The tv media is starting to be more widely seen as unreliable gossipers IMO.

  5. ghostrider888 5

    “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

  6. geoff 6

    Sorry if you’ve already linked to this, karol:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/offshore-tax-havens/

  7. xtasy 7

    Yes, investigative journalism is not dead, but admittedly much too rare and limited to few great researchers like Hager doing such work.

    It is great to hear what he, Duncan Campbell and a few others have unearthed.

    There is plenty to be exposed, and that would include NZ politics, but I sadly see too little of it. New current affairs shows focus on “soft” and “emotive” stories, which do not rock the boat or shake the system.

    MSM are part of the problem, having basically given up doing the hard work journalism, and are rather shying away from upsetting ministers, business and other leaders of the establishment.

    John Key’s recent comments should actually motivate them to get back into the game of thorough investigative journalism.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government redress for Te Korowai o Wainuiārua
    The Government is continuing the bipartisan effort to restore its relationship with iwi as the Te Korowai o Wainuiārua Claims Settlement Bill passed its first reading in Parliament today, says Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith. “Historical grievances of Te Korowai o Wainuiārua relate to 19th century warfare, land purchased or taken ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Focus on outstanding minerals permit applications
    New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, enabling valuable mining activity and signalling to the sector that New Zealand is open for business, Resources Minister Shane Jones says.  “While there are no set timeframes for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Applications open for NZ-Ireland Research Call
    The New Zealand and Irish governments have today announced that applications for the 2024 New Zealand-Ireland Joint Research Call on Agriculture and Climate Change are now open. This is the third research call in the three-year Joint Research Initiative pilot launched in 2022 by the Ministry for Primary Industries and Ireland’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tenancy rules changes to improve rental market
    The coalition Government has today announced changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to encourage landlords back to the rental property market, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The previous Government waged a war on landlords. Many landlords told us this caused them to exit the rental market altogether. It caused worse ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boosting NZ’s trade and agricultural relationship with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay will visit China next week, to strengthen relationships, support Kiwi exporters and promote New Zealand businesses on the world stage. “China is one of New Zealand’s most significant trade and economic relationships and remains an important destination for New Zealand’s products, accounting for nearly 22 per cent of our good and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater farm plan systems to be improved
    The coalition Government intends to improve freshwater farm plans so that they are more cost-effective and practical for farmers, Associate Environment Minister Andrew Hoggard and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay have announced. “A fit-for-purpose freshwater farm plan system will enable farmers and growers to find the right solutions for their farm ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Fast Track Projects advisory group named
    The coalition Government has today announced the expert advisory group who will provide independent recommendations to Ministers on projects to be included in the Fast Track Approvals Bill, say RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Regional Development Minister Shane Jones. “Our Fast Track Approval process will make it easier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Pacific and Gaza focus of UN talks
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters says his official talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York today focused on a shared commitment to partnering with the Pacific Islands region and a common concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.    “Small states in the Pacific rely on collective ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government honours Taranaki Maunga deal
    The Government is honouring commitments made to Taranaki iwi with the Te Pire Whakatupua mō Te Kāhui Tupua/Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Bill passing its first reading Parliament today, Treaty Negotiations Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “This Bill addresses the commitment the Crown made to the eight iwi of Taranaki to negotiate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Enhanced partnership to reduce agricultural emissions
    The Government and four further companies are together committing an additional $18 million towards AgriZeroNZ to boost New Zealand’s efforts to reduce agricultural emissions. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says the strength of the New Zealand economy relies on us getting effective and affordable emission reduction solutions for New Zealand. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 110km/h limit proposed for Kāpiti Expressway
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) will begin consultation this month on raising speed limits for the Kāpiti Expressway to 110km/h. “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and this proposal supports that outcome ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Biosecurity Awards – Winners announced
    Two New Zealanders who’ve used their unique skills to help fight the exotic caulerpa seaweed are this year’s Biosecurity Awards Supreme Winners, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard. “Strong biosecurity is vital and underpins the whole New Zealand economy and our native flora and fauna. These awards celebrate all those in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Attendance action plan to lift student attendance rates
    The Government is taking action to address the truancy crisis and raise attendance by delivering the attendance action plan, Associate Education Minister David Seymour announced today.   New Zealand attendance rates are low by national and international standards. Regular attendance, defined as being in school over 90 per cent of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • World must act to halt Gaza catastrophe – Peters
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York today that an immediate ceasefire is needed in Gaza to halt the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.    “Palestinian civilians continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s military actions,” Mr Peters said in his speech to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to United Nations General Assembly: 66th plenary meeting, 78th session
    Mr President,   The situation in Gaza is an utter catastrophe.   New Zealand condemns Hamas for its heinous terrorist attacks on 7 October and since, including its barbaric violations of women and children. All of us here must demand that Hamas release all remaining hostages immediately.   At the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government woolshed roadshow kicks off
    Today the Government Agriculture Ministers started their national woolshed roadshow, kicking off in the Wairarapa. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said it has been a tough time for farmers over the past few years. The sector has faced high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events, and increasing farm ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM heads to Singapore, Thailand, and Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines this week (April 14-20), along with a senior business delegation, signalling the Government’s commitment to deepen New Zealand’s international engagement, especially our relationships in South East Asia. “South East Asia is a region that is more crucial than ever to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister launches Government Targets
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced further steps to get New Zealand back on track, launching nine ambitious Government Targets to help improve the lives of New Zealanders. “Our Government has a plan that is focused on three key promises we made to New Zealanders – to rebuild the economy, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Natural hydrogen resource should be free of Treaty claims entanglement
    Natural hydrogen could be a game-changing new source of energy for New Zealand but it is essential it is treated as a critical development that benefits all New Zealanders, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. Mr Jones is seeking to give regulatory certainty for those keen to develop natural, or geological, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government responds to unsustainable net migration
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand on stage at global Space Symposium
    Space Minister Judith Collins will speak at the Space Symposium in the United States next week, promoting New Zealand’s rapidly growing place in the sector as we work to rebuild the economy. “As one of the largest global space events, attended by more than 10,000 business and government representatives from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-04-16T04:20:27+00:00