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Canada Globe investigation into white-collar crime takes top prize at Data Journalism Awards

Tom Cardoso, left, and Grant Robertson, centre, of The Globe and Mail receive the Startup Lisboa award for investigation of the year from Miguel Fontes at the 2018 Global Editors Network Data Journalism Awards in Lisbon on May 31, 2018.

RAINER MIRAU

Pitted against submissions from 58 countries across the world, with more than 630 entries across categories, a Globe and Mail investigation has been hailed as the investigation of the year at the 2018 Global Editors Network Data Journalism Awards.

Easy Money, an investigation into white-collar crime that dove into 30 years worth of regulatory cases, illustrated for Globe readers just how fraudsters can make millions off Canadian investors, face sparse punishment, then do it again.

Among findings, Easy Money created a brand-new statistic for national securities crime recidivism, revealing for the first time that as many as one in nine white-collar criminals in Canada are repeat offenders. “Due to the patchwork securities regulation system in Canada, the data had never been analyzed in this way, and the calculation of a recidivism figure had never been attempted,” the project’s award submission details.

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“It took months to wade through the data, and a lot of support from The Globe,” investigative reporter Grant Robertson, one of two authors on the project, said of the win. “And in the end, we believe it exposed something valuable about the state of securities enforcement in Canada.”

Data journalist Tom Cardoso added that one of the most powerful aspects of working with data is that it shines a light on facts hidden in plain sight. “Once those facts are out in the open, it becomes harder to say the problem doesn’t exist,” he said.

The investigation is currently one of three Globe projects shortlisted for a Michener Award – Canada’s top journalism prize.

“We have to constantly be on the march toward improvement, and to do so, we must compete on the global landscape,” Globe editor-in-chief David Walmsley said Thursday. “This nomination was up against the world’s best, and we are delighted to have taken top honours.”

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