web analytics

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

  • Iwi receive Treaty Settlement adjustments
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu have received $93,000 and $88,000 respectively to ensure the value of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    35 mins ago
  • One more day for border workers to get vaccinated; rates already above 98%
    New Zealand’s border workers have stepped up to help protect their whānau and fellow Kiwis, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.  As of this morning over 98% of the active border workforce have received at least one dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and 93% are fully vaccinated. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    48 mins ago
  • Govt delivers more wellbeing support to Rainbow young people
    The Government has increased its targeted mental health and wellbeing investment for Rainbow young people, taking the total amount of funding past its manifesto commitment. “Earlier this year the Government announced the first investment of $4-million specifically for Rainbow mental wellbeing initiatives aimed at young people – this has now ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government to transform Oranga Tamariki
    The Government has accepted all the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Board set up to provide advice on how to fix the child care and protection system, Kelvin Davis has announced. Decision making and resources to be shifted to communities, with children and whānau at the centre of the system ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government helps protect jobs and incomes for Arts and Culture sector
    The Government will provide a targeted support package of repriortised funding to protect jobs and incomes in the arts and culture sector as it faces the ongoing challenges of Delta, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “As we continue to secure New Zealand’s economic recovery, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Bill to transform drinking water safety passes
    The Government today passed legislation that will transform drinking water safety and improve environmental outcomes for our wastewater and stormwater networks. “The Water Services Act gives Taumata Arowai the legal authority to carry out its duties as New Zealand’s dedicated water regulator. This represents a major transformational advance for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor to travel to Europe and US to support economic re...
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to Europe and the United States on Thursday this week to advance New Zealand’s trade and economic interests with key partners, including representing New Zealand at the G20 Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Italy. It follows recent engagement between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Asia New Zealand Foundation Chair and Board members announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Dame Fran Wilde, DNZM, QSO, as the new Chair to the Board of the Asia New Zealand Foundation – Te Whītau Tūhono. “Dame Fran Wilde has been a trustee since 2019 and I am confident that her experience and deep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Latest KiwiSaver Annual Report shows promising benefits for members
    The latest KiwiSaver Annual Report from the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), highlights how Government’s recent policy tweaks have positively benefitted New Zealanders, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said today. “Fourteen people so far have withdrawn their funds early thanks to a rule modification made in March this year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reasons for permitted travel across Alert Level boundary expanded
    From 11:59pm tonight additional reasons for permitted travel will be introduced for movement across the Auckland boundary, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “As this outbreak has shown Delta is highly transmissible, and in order to be confident of controlling its spread, restrictions at the Alert Level boundary have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tenancy measures introduced to further support COVID-19 impacted businesses and tenants
    The Government has introduced changes to help ease the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on both commercial and residential tenancies. As part of the COVID-19 Response Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament, measures are being taken to help businesses resolve disputes over commercial rent, as well as provide greater certainty for landlords ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Details of interest deductibility rules released
    The Government has released the draft legislation outlining the details of the policy limiting the deductibility of interest costs on residential property investments. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the interest limitation proposals, announced in March, aim to stem investor demand for existing residential properties. They do not affect the main ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • GPS sets long-term direction for housing, urban development
    The Government has today laid out its long-term vision for housing and urban development in Aotearoa New Zealand, ensuring we have the infrastructure and homes needed to nurture thriving communities in the decades to come. The Housing Minister Megan Woods says the Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government welcomes collaboration between Vector and X
    A move by Vector to form a strategic collaboration with X, (formerly Google X) to work together on the virtualisation of the Auckland electricity grid highlights the type of innovation that can help decarbonise and decentralise the electricity system, says Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. “The visualisation of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM farewells Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy
    The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy completes her five year term as Governor-General of New Zealand today. “Today marks the end of an eventful term of office for Dame Patsy and I want to acknowledge and thank her for her tireless service to New Zealand over the last five years,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers on improving health and equity outcomes for women
    ACC cover for maternal childbirth injuries Government working to improve and strengthen maternity services The Government is laying the foundations for a better future by improving equity and health outcomes for women through amending ACC legislation and an updated Maternity Action Plan. “Amongst a suite of changes, we’re proposing to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech at launch of the Dementia Economic Impact Report
    E nga mana E nga reo E nga iwi Tēna kotou katoa Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. No reira tēna koutou katoa Acknowledgements Thank you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Backing world-class innovation in New Zealand
    $12 million Government investment to support cutting-edge R&D in New Zealand by international businesses Dawn Aerospace and Merlin Labs join Innovative Partnership’s Airspace Integration Trials programme MOU signed with Air New Zealand to conduct a nationwide feasibility study into sustainable aviation fuels The Government is propelling cutting-edge innovation through a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • One-way quarantine free travel dates confirmed for RSE scheme
    From 4 October RSE workers from Vanuatu can begin arriving into New Zealand From 12 October RSE workers Samoa and Tonga from can begin arriving into New Zealand As part of a programme of work to reopen our borders and reconnect with the world, the Government has announced quarantine free ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More community grants to support youth mental wellbeing
    The Government continues to make more mental health and wellbeing supports available to young people to ensure services are there when and where they need them, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “More than twenty community-led projects have now received a funding boost through The Youth Mental Wellbeing Fund to keep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Self-isolation pilot to start with 150 people
    The goal of safely re-opening our borders and developing new ways for people to travel will start with a self-isolation pilot, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “As part of the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan announced in August, the self-isolation pilot will look at self-isolation for vaccinated travellers who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Waka Joseph Nathan
    E Waka e, kei hea ra koe, kua ngaro nei i te iwi e, E kawe nei i ngā rongo, i ngā mahara mōu, i ngā wawata i hua mai i a koe. E Waka e, haere ra, kei te tuahu koe o te ati a toa, Kei poho tonu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury school students get hands-on with food and fibre careers
    Secondary school students in Canterbury will have the breadth of food and fibre careers showcased to them thanks to a new initiative launched today, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP) Canterbury is a collaboration between the Ministry for Primary Industries and SmartNZ, a charitable trust that connects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tuvalu language revival and COVID-19
    Te Vaiaso o te Gana Tuvalu 2021 - Tuvalu Language Week moves online due to the uncertainty around COVID-19 said the Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  “However it is a timely reminder of the power of embracing both traditional and new ways of doing things. It has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Strengthened reporting will improve abortion and sterilisation services
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced new data and reporting regulations which will help improve abortion and sterilisation services in New Zealand, by painting a clearer picture of the need in our communities. “The Government is committed to ensuring everyone who needs to access abortion services can, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • United Nations General Assembly: 76th General Debate Statement
    E ngā Mana, e ngā Reo, Rau Rangatira mā o tēnei Whare Nui o te Ao Prestigious people, Speakers of note, Chiefs one and all of this General Assembly Ngā mihi mahana ki o koutou katoa, mai i toku Whenua o Aotearoa Warm greetings to you all from my home ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum prioritises women’s economic empowerment
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government invests in restoring iconic South Canterbury river valleys
    The Government is investing up to $18.4 million over four years to create jobs and help restore braided river valleys, alpine and pastoral lands in the South Island as part of its Jobs for Nature programme Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor announced. Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Upper Hauraki to move to Alert Level 2
    Upper Hauraki will move to Alert Level 2 from 11:59pm tomorrow, 25 September, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. After positive cases were detected in the Upper Hauraki area on Sunday, extra Alert Level restrictions were put in place to immediately prevent any wider transmission of the virus.  “We’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Report into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system released
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the findings of an independent review into Aotearoa New Zealand’s export controls system, which regulates the export of goods to foreign militaries, police forces or paramilitaries. Produced by David Smol, a former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of Brett Crowley of Wellington as a District Court Judge.  He is currently the Wellington Public Defender and started his career as a staff solicitor working in a range of litigation including criminal defence work. He went to the bar in 1999 specialising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mental health stocktake shows strong progress
    The first report of the Government’s Implementation Unit has found strong progress has been made since the Mental Health and Addictions Package was announced in 2019. “The report notes most initiatives funded in the Budget 2019 package are on track to deliver what is expected by 2023/24,” Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Working together to grow the West Coast
    A project that has been crucial in allowing businesses to continue during the tourism downturn is among a number of initiatives to receive a boost from the Government’s Jobs For Nature programme, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Sustaining South Westland is an extension of an initiative set up last year ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps to improve safety in wake of Whakaari White Island tragedy
    The Government is moving to improve safety in light of the Whakaari White Island tragedy and has released proposals to reinforce safety standards in registered adventure activities. The package of proposals includes: Strengthening requirements for how operators, landowners and the regulator manage natural hazard risks Improving how risks are monitored, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand donates more COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX and the Pacific
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Associate Health Minister Aupito William Sio announced today that New Zealand is donating additional Pfizer vaccines to the Pacific and AstraZeneca vaccines to the COVAX Facility, to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. “New Zealand is donating 708,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Property Council of New Zealand
    Kia ora koutou katoa   Is it a pleasure to be able to speak with you today, and to be able to answer some questions you may have. I would like to acknowledge the organisers of this event, the Property Council. The theme of this year’s conference is City Shapers. Together ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Additional MIQ for Christchurch
    An additional hotel will be added to our network of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I have approved and Cabinet is in the final stages of signing off The Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch as a new managed isolation facility,” Chris Hipkins said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ COVID-19 response earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Amazon’s Web Services’ (AWS) decision to establish a Cloud Region on New Zealand shores, further boosting New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and providing a vote of confidence in the direction of New Zealand’s economic recovery. “Amazon is the second ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand invests in cutting edge cancer R&D
    Scaling up the manufacture of CAR T-cell cancer therapy for clinical trials Advancing New Zealand’s biomedical manufacturing capability Supporting future international scientific collaborations Transforming cancer care with targeted, affordable solutions Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has announced that the fight against COVID-19 will not stop the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Expert group appointed to lead New Zealand’s future health system
    An outstanding group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience have been appointed to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “This Government is building a truly national health system to provide consistent, high-quality health services right across the country. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago