McClatchy, The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Fusion

The Panama Papers Story Is Dense, So News Sites Made Quirky Explainers

Mossack Fonseca's data leak provided a rare insight into offshore finance, and journalists are trying to make sure you get why it's a big deal.

By Steven Sparkman | April 3, 2016

Are you ready to learn about offshore finance? 

The Panama Papers leak, comprising 40 years worth of a law firm's offshore finance files, gave journalists around the globe an unprecedented look at an industry known for its secrecy and potential to cover up corruption. 

But unlike the spying revealed by Edward Snowden — wiretapping, data collecting and email snooping — offshore finance isn't so easy to grasp. 

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The journalists don't want their hard work to go to waste, so they made explainer videos. Lots and lots of short, unusually creative explainer videos. 

"Think of it like those Russian nesting dolls: One company controls another company, which controls a third, and so on," McClatchy explained

In addition to the kinds of news reports you've come to expect, you can follow The Guardian's flowchart as it takes you through how a tax dodge works or watch as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' gritty cartoon lists the crimes that are made possible by money laundering. 

Or why not let Fusion explain shell companies to you using former pro-wrestler Hillbilly Jim or former porn star Lisa Ann?

In all seriousness, the Panama Papers leak is worth learning more about, even if it is complicated. And journalists, animators, wrestlers and even porn stars are doing what they can to help you make sense of it. 

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