More than a year ago the Süddeutsche Zeitung was contacted by a source who was intent on staying anonymous. The source called himself “John Doe” and offered internal data belonging to the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. The Süddeutsche Zeitung decided to analyze the data in cooperation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). In the course of the research the cooperation was extended to include more than 100 media organizations from over 80 countries. The publication of the Panama Papers caused an enormous stir all over the globe: Politicians and functionaries had to resign, there was a large amount of public protest, and the stories led to raids and investigations in dozens of countries.
Now “John Doe”, the anonymous source, has sent the SZ a manifesto, which can be read as an explanation of his actions – and as a call to action. The manifesto and its inherent political stance had no editorial influence on the reporting by the SZ or of any of the other cooperating media organizations – nor will it influence them in the future. The SZ did not have to agree to any conditions concerning the reporting in order to receive the data of the Panama Papers