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June 06, 2016

Financial Woes Beset ‘Panama Papers’ Journalism Nonprofit

The nonprofit International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which dramatically raised its profile this year by shepherding the release of the “Panama Papers,” is cutting back in the face of a financial pinch that is escalating tensions with its parent organization, the Center for Public Integrity, writes The New York Times.

The consortium is vacating its Washington office and leaving staff positions unfilled, and it has had to part with contract journalists who worked on its project to expose a global network of offshore banks and shell companies used by the wealthy and powerful to conceal assets. The organization was founded in 1997 as an offshoot of the Center for Public Integrity, which has regularly run deficits and is reducing its own staff.

The affiliated groups differ in “culture, structure, and methodology” and have long had a strained relationship, said David Kaplan, who headed the consortium from 2008 to 2011. Under its current leader, Gerard Ryle, the consortium has roughly tripled its budget and staff, even accounting for the recent reductions, and its success with the Panama Papers investigation has led supporters to tout it as a model for nonprofit journalism.