Mider is a new entry this year
Zach Mider is a campaign finance reporter for Bloomberg who
made waves this year by winning the Pulitzer Prize –
the most coveted in journalism – for his reporting on
US tax inversions.
Why journalists such as Mider win accolades for simply
publishing information which has been widely-known for years,
sometimes decades, can be mystifying for tax practitioners.
However, the true skill of Mider – and most financial
journalists, to some degree – is in taking complex
financial information, undecipherable to most, and distilling
it into something not only understandable but engaging and, if
This is not to deny Mider's investigative skills –
he has broken more than a few exclusives in recent years
– but his ability to open up tax matters to a wide
audience is what earns him a spot in the Global Tax 50
With articles such as 'Unpatriotic Loophole Targeted by
Obama Costs $2 Billion' and 'I Hear America Singing 'Never Pay
Taxes': The Inversion Operatta', journalists like Mider mean
that the public is more conscious of the practices employed by
multinationals – and it's fair to say that many of
them are not too happy, triggering wider grassroots
participation with campaigning organisations, such as those
listed on these pages.
These organisations can in turn have a concrete impact on
global tax policy. For proof, just look at country-by-country
reporting (CbCR) – once a pipe dream of tax
campaigners Richard Murphy and John Christensen.
Thus, the 'explanatory journalism' for which Mider was
recognised (and there is nothing like a Pulitzer Prize to get
the attention of journalists) is becoming more and more
important in an era of increasing tax complexity, serving a
social function of keeping populations abreast of developments
in the tax industry, which used to be the preserve of
accountants, lawyers and lawmakers.
Expect to see more journalism like Mider's in the next few
years – much of it more inflammatory and less accurate
than his work, no doubt – swelling the public's
interest in tax justice.