Umar Cheema is an investigative reporter for a Pakistani English-language daily, The News. In 2010, he was kidnapped and tortured for writing critical stories about the government. His hard-hitting reports include a series exposing tax evasion by members of parliament, which forced the government to make tax records of lawmakers and other citizens public. He was part of the global investigations led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, such as the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. His work helped expedite the introduction of a right to information law by a provincial government.
Cheema has received numerous awards for his reporting, including the Knight International Journalism Award, the International Press Freedom Award, the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Services in Journalism, the Tully Free Speech Award and the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. He also won a Daniel Pearl Fellowship, becoming the first Pearl fellow to work at The New York Times.