A group of wolves is better than a wolf, says the Pulitzer Prize winner

Collaboration is the key to better journalism, the Pulitzer winner journalist known for the Panama Papers said in a lecture today.

This lecture named “The power of the pack. A New Era in Investigative Journalism” is one of a series of open lectures during the 8th Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop held by the HKBU.

“A group of wolves is better than a wolf,” he said, when showing pictures of a group of wolves in the slides. “When you work in a group, you share the risk, share the work, and you get more stories and bigger impact.”

In 2016, he and Bastian Obermayer, members in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, jointly launched the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens, according to the Pulitzer Prized website.

“Imagine there is a delicious cake in front of you, and you are really hungry, and you love cakes,” he said.“If you were collaborating, people you team up with might take pieces of cake away, in the end, you might have only one little piece left, but the power, or say sweetness is much more than the original one because you share with others.

“Since Panama Papers, we are happy to see that there are more journalists or news organizations collaborating,” he added after pointed out by students that Panama Papers were not the beginning of collaboration in journalism, “this is the new era of investigative journalism.”

He shared with students the needs for some rules: joint publication, awareness of cultural differences, awareness for different needs, transparency regarding conflicts of interests, and giving credit.

The lecture was held in Communication and Visual Art Building in HKBU, and around 90 people attended, including journalism students in HKBU.

The School of Communication of HKBU organizes and hosts the Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop every other year. This year, eight winners attended, including one photojournalist.


Chen Yuyang,  Oct. 24, 2018

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