The Panama Papers investigation revealed the offshore holdings and connections of dozens of politicians and prominent public figures around the world and led to high-profile resignations, police raids, and official investigations. Almost 500 journalists, coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Süddeutsche Zeitung, had to sift through 2.6 terabytes of data—the biggest leak in the history of journalism. Mar Cabra explains how technology made it all possible.
Mar Cabra is the head of the Data and Research unit at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which produces the organization’s key data work and also develops tools for better collaborative investigative journalism. Mar fell in love with data while a Fulbright scholar and fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. Since then, she’s promoted data journalism in her native Spain, cocreating the first ever master’s degree in investigative reporting, data journalism, and visualization as well as the national data journalism conference, which gathers more than 500 people every year. She previously worked in television (BBC, CCN+, and LaSexta Noticias), and her work has been featured in the International Herald Tribune, The Huffington Post, PBS, El País, and El Mundo or El Confidencial, among others. In 2012, she received the Spanish Larra Award, given to the country’s most promising journalist under 30.
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