The Panama and Paradise Papers. The Rise of a Global Fourth Estate

Peter Berglez, Amanda Gearing


This article theorizes the work of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). This work is motivated by the need to link recent large-scale ICIJ projects such as the Panama and Paradise Papers revelations to ongoing theoretical discussions about emergent forms of journalism. It is argued that the ICIJ provides evidence of the emergence of a “global network journalism” characterized by a particular epistemology (a global outlook on social reality) that is embedded in a networked rationale. It is further suggested that this journalistic practice paves the way for the media’s role as a global fourth estate, responding to the budding demand for a new type of reporting that influences political decisions and expressing society’s development toward an internalized sense of globalization. We discuss the usefulness of applying the presented concepts to other cases than the ICIJ and provide suggestions for further studies.


ICIJ, global network journalism, network journalism, global journalism, global fourth estate, networked fourth estate, Tax Havens Investigation, Luxembourg Leaks, Panama Papers, Paradise Papers

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