In the run-up to the 11th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Hamburg this September 26 to 29, we’re featuring one Global Shining Light Award finalist per day. The winners, chosen from 12 outstanding investigative projects, will be announced at the conference.
The Shining Light Award, first given out at our 2007 Global Conference, uniquely honors investigative journalists in developing or transitioning countries whose work was done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions.
The finalists were selected by an international panel of judges from a record 291 projects. All the stories were published in 2017 or 2018. The award is sponsored by the Global Investigative Journalism Network, an association of 182 organizations in 77 countries.
This year, given the broad range of work submitted, we divided the submissions into two categories: large outlets (with ten or more staff) and smaller outlets (with fewer than 10 staff). We hope you’ll agree that this year’s finalists showcase extraordinary journalism by some extraordinary journalists.
Large Outlets Category: “The Azerbaijani Laundromat,” Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in collaboration with numerous international outlets (Azerbaijan).
Team: Ilgar Agha, Roman Anin, Anna Babinec, Sophie Balay, Attila Biro, Jan Bratanic, Anuška Delić, Ricardo Ginés, Pavla Holcová, Khadija Ismayilova, Elena Loginova, Miranda Patrucić, Madina Mammadova, Paul Radu, Atanas Tchobanov, Jonny Wrate, Carole Kerbage, Dragana Peco, Nadia Shiyyab, Friedrich Lindenberg, Amy Guy, Lion Summerbell, Ilya Lozovsky, Jody McPhillips, Drew Sullivan, Birgit Brauer, Lejla Čamdžić, Roxana Jipa, Ana Poenariu, undisclosed Azerbaijani journalists.
This collaborative, cross-border investigation uncovered how ruling elites in Azerbaijan benefited from a complex money-laundering operation and slush fund. Banking records revealed that some $2.9 billion passed through four shell companies registered in the United Kingdom over a two-year period.