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tv   Journalists Discuss the Panama Papers  CSPAN  May 13, 2016 3:19am-3:40am EDT

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threatened to sue us for reporting with the federal government already has in an indictment so we are numbered about that one. >> the importance of whistleblowers. obviously, as journalists, we always know and learn that you cannot ask somebody to distill data for you but it is vitally important it seems to have this kind of data reach journalists so that they can pursue stories like this, right? protections for whistleblowers in this administration seem lacking. >> absolutely. the criteria we use is that we all share with us is that we don't get involved in any activity with the. we are recipients of leaks and we are happy to get them. as long as our reporters have not participated, encouraged, or been part of any kinds of
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activities by the whistleblowers. as long as we are passive recipients, we are fine with it. throughcase, it was deutsche -- the laws are lacking everywhere to protect whistleblowers. that i talkedion about before that exposed and multinational tax avoidance scheme, participation in that investigation -- the main whistleblower -- the alleged whistleblowers in the main reporter working on that story are standing trial right now in luxembourg in the face jail. ourraine is facing
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charges. it is happening in a country that is a founding member of the european union and they can go to jail . about scary thing american journalists taking for granted -- the freedoms we have -- but you face a lot of that. the press freedom issues created , especially in countries like africa but the journalists you are working with; can you talk to me with the challenges that you face there with the press freedom issues and journalists who cannot get electricity and are worried about going to jail e? wors >> these are the>> things that we hear of secondhand. marina will often hear me speaking in french or slow english to our african colleagues about what they are experiencing. .t was a universal phenomenon there was a kenyan reporter who
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reported on a judge's in the panama papers and that was the example i referenced earlier with a newspaper received a phone call from their lawyers but they still published. ,here are lots of challenges obviously -- the best-known example is from azerbaijan who is currently in jail for 7.5 years. what the panama papers was moreng for is that it is or less validated everything that she had reported on that led to our imprisonment. that is, the family of president --extending from houses in london to gold fields in azerbaijan and despite the president saying that his family members are adults, businessmen reallyen, that doesn't fly when you've got then using anonymous protectors and a whole range of foundations that nobody in public would ever be able to trace to the family unless you
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as him or hadnt the kind of documents that we were able to seek for the panama papers. finally, i would just go back to that point that i do think that these press freedom issues at our partners face are not completely removed by collaboration but are greatly helped through collaboration, being that maybe you want to vent and share with 400 and , i kind of professional suffering you are going through or in a more tangible way has a said earlier that summit he us can pick up your story and publish it in a neighboring country so that the truth does get out -- >> oliver sorg has been translated. i think a lot of the papers of a particular interest in partners -- the stories that we did or another partner due to translate into their language which, going back to this collaboration, under what circumstances, you wouldn't do that, you would have to have a business relationship through the partnership that has allowed that -- picking up on
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something bill said, the russian team did this under great personal risk. our partners are in the same organization where the reporter who was so solid on chechnya was killed in her apartment. that is front and center in their minds. i cannot say enough the bravery it took for them to do that and if we have new partners joining who will be working off the same data that we can lay the groundwork for, if you look at what is hesitant -- the entire ruling oligarchy basically of russia is in here and it speaks to this question of rule of law and what sort of society has come out of the post-cold war era. if there is a lot of work collectively to do on the russian part. >> a question from the audience? my first question is roleding, but was the main
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? you explained your role but it is not clear what was the partnership sharing what kind of partnership was that? my second question relates to -- when you mentioned that you were ,ealing with leaked material leaked documents, and part of your answer is saying that we pick and choose, what was the criteria besides the personal take andon, that you choose things and do it gradually? and the third is my question is -- we are talking about documentary, digitized corruption. it is not documented or digitized, how do you handle it? somebody has to leak it to you? deutsche cited at a crucial
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role, as the recipient of the week it we would not be having this conversation had it not been for them. first of all, paying attention to the whistleblowers, he said in his manifesto that he went to other organizations before he -- i am sure you all get tips and e-mails and it is hard sometimes to distinguish the one that is going to lead you to the great leak. i give them credit for having paid attention and having asked the right questions and having gotten the leaks. also, for having -- instead of trying to -- you know, this was -- we will we're all hoping for in our careers in the first thing they did, immediately, was
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to turn around and say, let's do it with everyone, let's go in gift bag because they had been dented -- benefiting from a previous investigation and they give back. i also give them credit for that. in a newsroom because you have differing views. viassure that there were in other newsrooms of, what we just put ourselves? that is the goal of suddeutsche zeitung. how do we pick the cases? we are guided by public interest. how do we did the stories? we are focusing first on public andcials and politicians, all other public figures i had a great deal of influence on society. there is a great deal of information about private citizens, small business, things like that that if they do not have a "on society or if there is no great pattern of
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wrongdoing that they are involved in, we have no interest in focusing on them. , what ist going newsworthy? what is going to in this biggest impact? case and we are finding one politician after another, that is clearly a pattern. banks, thens, the enablers of the offshore banks and law forms and accounting firms. that is more or less in general how we picked our stories. their response to icij, we do not want editorial control. in nigeria, or partners who have done wonderful work chose to publish more of a list of names of a nigerian city were able to find. that it is an approach that other newsrooms might have taken the marina outlined the approach that icij court on this
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particular investigation and the third question related to non-digitized projects. not documented. there is a paper trail these days for everything and when you are involved in corruption at some point you are going to couldn't -- you are going to need to create a bank account, a company or to write a -- it ist is almost not totally impossible and i was introduced to an expert to talk about that containers full of money -- apparently -- that are traveling from latin america to because the- banking system is becoming so thankfully, criminals are just moving cash in airplanes and ships and other means. there is always a paper trail and is paper trails in the past were impossible in many cases to get, and are now proving to be
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accessible, so i think that more secrets are going to come out. >> i'm going to jump in here because i have a small amount of knowledge. they do not only receive links and work on them, they do a lot of really spectacular other work, as well as like in a commentary comes from the chairwoman of the board of governors of the national press former of the senate republican -- >> jumping on the egypt part, because egypt was a dilemma for respite when of the things that we were very careful about because of this involves , is the persons a public person? because we have a lot of interesting people that doesn't make sense, doesn't add up -- if you publish it -- they are not a public person, they have never had a corporation, so, we have not publish a whole bunch of that but in the case of egypt, for instance, one of mubarak's's sons was involved in
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a scandal tied to financial fraud. the person he was tied in and fraud with is in the documents. he was not named in the documents. we did not run that because it wasn't a direct relationship. it was presumed that this was on his behalf but you had to make those calls along the way and i think there were a lot of examples like that. many newsrooms would wrestle with them. >> can i touch on that real fast, kevin? a lot of difficult decisions are made in journalism daily. of that in the collaboration work? with your decisional publishing miniver this in the somebody else's decisional publishing something. >> marina did a very good job of refereeing this. she was at risk of using a gender-specific term -- was a mother hen that really watched everything that people were doing and someone who was working on a story, both people are working on a story that she
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worked to make sure nobody got to far ahead of the other and try to as best -- as best as possible, people from undermining each other's reporting -- not undermining, the getting out of hand about the reporting that it was very helpful. rememberimportant to what i said before in his that we do not get involved in our partner's territorial decisions. of god profusely give them guidelines and suggestions but ultimately, it is up to each media organization to decide, not when, because that is what we are all going to agree when we are published, but now they are going to present their stories in who they are going to report about. i think that is really important to preserve because nobody wants to surrender that and that would be a wrong model for us to try -- and it would be impossible -- like, 400 people are going to write? but we give the
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guidelines and they have to also -- also remembering that taking into account that local laws and regulations and use country, for example, our german partners were not allowed to publish a becauseerman names apparently the laws -- the privacy laws in germany are very strong and they have to prove wrongdoing before they were able to name an individual from the panama papers. that is something that here in the first amendment in the u.s. we do not need to prove wrongdoing, what we need to do is do really in-depth work, when you have a lot of -- we need to give people notice and opportunity to comment. you can see in a different countries how that all played out. have to beyou also careful in the case of the ecuador story, it happened -- one of the things i found most troubling for me as a reporter was having to do this at a time that they had just had an earthquake.
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so we held the story for almost a week before we ran it because we didn't want it to distract from the earthquake effort and it wasn't until the president politicized -- he announced all bunch of tax measures to pay for the rebuilding, then we felt we had the green light to separate for that and we have to take into account what this might partners therej and work around -- we didn't want to rest on our behalf. so these are very real calculations we have had to make throughout. >> i want to ask a final question. the technology used, the process, had we make this model going forward for other data leaks? other information that is given to journalists -- how can we >> serve this as a model for the future? i think it is already a model -- >> there are other groups and networks that are already working in this way. that is the best news -- the paradigm has changed from the lone wolf to the global network
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collaboration. and so, i think that anybody who finds himself or herself with 2.6 terabytes of data, they know where to go and what to do. there is icij and there are others we are open about our methods and our technology and if you want to learn more about that, and about the global -- how to put your newsroom documents that everyone -- because in your newsroom, everybody is sitting on diablo documents that they use may be one line from and everything ,lse is just in somebody's desk why don't you put everything on a common platform so everybody can do a search when they have a find connections to documents of everyone in the newsroom? so that is the kind of thing starts inllaboration your own newsroom and it goes beyond that. >> thank you very much. i would like to thank our guests
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for being here, and the national press club journalism institute forum.rdinating this thank you. i do not think this is the last we are going to hear from you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [indiscernible conversations]
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