Alan Rusbridger is Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. For twenty years he was Editor in Chief of The Guardian. His article in this issue will appear in different form in the 2017 edition of Attacks on the Press, edited by the Committee to Protect Journalists and to be published in April by Bloomberg Press.
 (December 2016)

IN THE REVIEW

Kenya: The Devious Art of Censorship

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete surrounded by Cronyism, Incompetence, and Corruption; drawing by the well-known cartoonist Gado. Its publication in the East African in January 2015 led to the temporary banning of the newspaper from Tanzania and eventually to Gado’s dismissal from its sister newspaper, the Nation, published in Nairobi, Kenya, where he had worked since 1992.
In some parts of the world, it is still possible to silence a journalist with a sharp blow to the side of the head. But as newspapers the world over struggle with the financial disruption of digital technologies, governments are finding new ways of controlling the press. Murder is messy.

The Big Stash of the Big Rich: What Can We Know?

The cellist Sergei Roldugin, left, with Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev at the St. Petersburg House of Music, November 2009. The Panama Papers show that Roldugin, one of Putin’s old friends, is linked to a number of offshore companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money

by Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier

Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens

by Nicholas Shaxson
The publication of the Panama Papers on April 3 caused a huge stir.1 Much outrage was expressed. In Britain the revelations chimed with a political mood that seemed sickened by growing financial inequality. Thousands of headlines focused on the names caught in the headlights. The prime minister of Iceland …

Panama: The Hidden Trillions

The Panama Papers: Breaking the Story of How the Rich and Powerful Hide Their Money

by Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier

Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens

by Nicholas Shaxson
A great many rich individuals used one Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, to shield their money from prying eyes, whether it was tax authorities, law enforcement agencies, or vengeful former spouses. Tax havens are supposed to be secret. The Panama leak blew open that omertà in a quite spectacular fashion.

The Snowden Leaks and the Public

As the Snowden revelations proceeded it became apparent how reliant the security services actually are on the commercial services we all use—the Internet service providers, phone companies, and social networks—for help, both official and unofficial. Both in the US and in the UK the cloak of legal secrecy that surrounds this activity is such that no company dares come out openly and discuss its relations with the secret services. It is illegal to do so. For their part, governments on both sides of the Atlantic are terrified that commercial companies will “run for the hills” if consumers learn quite how accommodating they have been with their data.

A Chill on ‘The Guardian’

A newly opened Tesco supermarket in Beijing, January 2007
Among all the postmortems that will inevitably follow the dramatic implosion of the global financial system, there will doubtless be one on how it was covered in the press. Was there sufficient information in the public domain about the dangers of financial derivatives and subprime mortgages? Did news organizations, facing …