The founding of the Washington-based ICIJ launched a new era of collaborative investigative journalism. Landmark case-histories included the investigation of British American Tobacco; of BAe; and of European farm subsidies. The advent of huge online datasets was transformative. They could be hacked and became searchable by a new breed of reporters. New problems arose, of relations with hackers, about software, and in assembling the right collaborative teams to publish simultaneously. These issues played out with Wikileaks; with a series of ICIJ disclosures such as Offshore Leaks, Luxleaks, Swissleaks, and the Panama Papers; and with the Guardian’s fraught handling of the super-sensitive Edward Snowden intelligence leaks. Journalists have learned to use well-tried methods of self-protection as well as new toolkits.
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