Corruption Reporting Award: Honouring investigative journalism

Corruption Reporting Award: Honouring investigative journalism

For the third year Transparency International has sponsored the Corruption Reporting Award as part of the One World Media Awards. The award seeks to honour journalists who bring the abuses of entrusted power to light – because only when corruption is uncovered, can it be tackled. Through brave reporting and persistent investigations, journalists help in the fight against corruption. They are our allies.

One World Media received more than 20 riveting entries from which the judges made a short list of three: an exposé of a Kenya politician, the uncovering of a secret web of companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a documentary that detailed how millions of dollars were siphoned off by government officials during the sale of islands in the Maldives.

And the winner is…

Al Jazeera investigates: Stealing Paradise

Stealing Paradise is an unprecedented investigation into how international corruption is carried out at governmental level, focusing on the popular tourist islands of the Maldives.

Stealing Paradise shows how islands in the Maldives were sold off by the government with top officials pocketing bribes and facilitating money laundering.

Reporter Will Jordan, who began his career in journalism in the Maldives, was offered data from three mobile phones that used to belong to the country’s vice-president who is now in jail. From this and with the help of local journalists he pieced together a corruption scandal that showed how $80 million was stolen from the public purse and ended up in officials’ bank account from the sale of leases for building luxury resorts.

At one point, the former vice president ordered the police commissioner to “blast” a TV station, which was critical of the government. He also conspired with police to try to “light up” a government office housing 200 members of staff.

Just before the documentary was aired, the government took to state TV to warn journalists who were connected to report that they would face serious consequences. Jordan received death threats and others involved in the reporting fled the country.

On 13 June the only cable news channel in the Maldives, MediaNet, rebroadcast the documentary. Just two days later it was fined MVR500,000 (US$35,000) by the Broadcasting Commission, an indication that state organisations continue to persecute any involvement with the documentary. 

Runners Up

Anti-graft boss firm received NYS millions

by Kipchumba Some, The Sunday Nation, Kenya

The former chairman of Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Philip Kinisu, received lucrative contracts from government ministries and parastatal organisations that his agency was investigating.

The EACC is supposed to be an independent state institution charged with fighting graft and enforcing ethics in government. Kinisu was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to chair the commission in December 2015. Less than a year later, when the article appeared, a parliamentary committee found that Kinisu had acted improperly and recommended to President Kenyatta to form a tribunal to probe him further. Rather than face the tribunal, Kinisu resigned in August 2016.

With His Family’s Fortune at Stake, President Kabila Digs In

by Michael Kavanagh, Thomas Wilson and Franz Wild, Bloomberg

After 18 months of meticulous investigations, the reporters showed how President Joseph Kabila and his relatives have built a network of businesses that reaches into every corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s economy. There are at least 70 companies registered under pseudonyms and shell companies that ultimately led to Kabila, his wife, his children and his siblings. Stepping down as president, in line with the country’s constitution, would have been an inconvenience. So Kabila tried to hang on to power.

The revelations of Kabila’s family network and the detailed infographics that showed how it worked produced a media storm and international protest late last year. People took to the streets to demand new elections. Finally Kabila's party and opposition leaders agreed to hold a vote in December 2017. 


Image: Will Jordan, Will Thorne & Christofilos Olivotos, with award presenter Robert Barrington - Image Credit: One World Media, Tori Ferenc

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

How to keep desperately needed humanitarian aid out of the hands of the corrupt

Around the globe, tens of millions of people need humanitarian assistance from governments, humanitarian aid agencies, and the UN, but even when lives are at stake and people at their most vulnerable, corruption and other abuses are not uncommon.

How the IMF can have real impact on fighting corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is meeting in Washington DC this week. We want to send a strong message about what the multi-lateral lender can do to have greater impact on fighting corruption.

The impact of the Azerbaijani Laundromat

Since the story of the Azerbaijani Laundromat broke, Transparency International has been following up on the allegations and, along with OCCRP, calling for action to hold to account the politicians, businesses and intermediaries who were named in this complex money-for-influence scandal.

Corrupción en ascenso en América Latina y el Caribe

Conversamos con más de 22.000 personas en 20 países en América Latina y el Caribe sobre corrupción. Tomando en cuenta el tamaño estimado de la población de estos países, eso significa que alrededor de 90 millones de personas pagaron sobornos.

Corruption on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean

Transparency International asked more than 22,000 people in Latin America and the Caribbean about corruption in their daily lives. The survey also looks at how institutions are perceived and how corruption has been developing in each country.

Sustainable Development Goals turn two: time to ensure justice for all

September 25, 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Transparency International highlights the need for governments to set meaningful targets for success.

3 things we’ve learned since the Anti-Corruption Summit in London 2016

In May of last year, 43 governments & six international organisations met at the Anti-Corruption Summit and made 648 commitments. To keep up the pressure and make sure that these promises are kept, we looked at 453 commitments to find out what progress has been made - today Transparency International UK has launched a new report and a global pledge tracker with the results.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world