An April 3 story by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists relied mostly on sheer man-hours to analyze millions of files and expose the extent of offshore banking in the modern world.
Reporters from more than 30 media organizations used "high-tech data crunching" to analyze the files, which span more than 30 years and implicate a number of high-ranking international officials. While it's not clear what the writers meant by such vague terms, it's safe to assume they used some forms of spreadsheet software, as well as data analysis tools like Microsoft Access once the data had been collected.
The story incorporates a number of multimedia features, including graphics, maps, and videos, to broaden the audience's knowledge on the subject. One map shows key players in the offshore banking scheme around the world. Another graphic takes one man, Gunter Sachs, and details how he set up his bank accounts to avoid taxation and regulation for years.
The kind of reporting this story represents is incredibly important. It serves journalism's goal of monitoring the powerful members of society. Frankly, though, it's heady stuff - complex and hard to understand, even when you really sit down and think it over. The multimedia aspects of the story do a wonderful job summarizing the information into digestible components.